Until just a few decades ago, patients who were recovering from an injury or an illness were ordered to stay in bed while they were healing. My grandmother describes being bedridden for two weeks after each of her three children were born. It was an accepted “fact” at the beginning of the 20th century that one needed to lie very still to regain their energy and to let delicate organs settle. People with chronic pain were often banished to their bedrooms to heal, and those without any obvious reason for the pain were often thought to be hypochondriacs.
Nowadays, we know that alienating ourselves from the rest of the world is one of the worst things that we can do for our bodies and our minds. However, while chronic pain might not keep us in bed any longer, it’s still hard to leave the house and engage with the rest of society when you’re dealing with it nonstop. These long periods of isolation often lead to depression.
Depression is about three to four times more common in people with chronic pain than the rest of the population. It’s estimated that 30-80% of everyone who lives with chronic pain will suffer from some type of depression during their lifetime.
Chronic pain and depression are crippling conditions that tend to feed off of each other. Because of drastic changes in a person’s mental and physical status, their quality of life frequently suffers. They find it harder to address simple activities of daily living, which in turn leads to an overwhelming feeling of gloom. It’s a perfect example of a “vicious cycle.” The pain affects the depression, which results in more pain.
The answer to this problem is to break the cycle. While this is easier said than done, the first step is to diagnose your chronic pain and try to address it. Your Chiropractor is an excellent source for accomplishing this task. Where a primary care physician asks you where it hurts, a Chiropractor will help you explore the areas of your body. Sometimes the real problem isn’t even in the area that hurts at all, but it takes a little bit of research to uncover the cause of your pain. When it comes to chronic pain, you owe it to yourself to have someone help you that can really listen and understand.
Talk to your physician about what options are available to you. Do you want pain pills prescribed or would another path be best for your specific needs? One of the best things about Chiropractic care is its ability to complement almost any other kind of treatment available. You no longer have to choose one type of healing over another. And you certainly don’t have to stay in bed while you’re healing.
Story credit: http://www.acatoday.org/content_css.cfm?CID=2187
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