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Pain 101: Understanding and finding relief for body pains

Pain 101: Understanding and finding relief for body pains think stock photos

Whether it’s sharp or dull, off and on or constant, pain can be a real pain at times. With the ability to interrupt time with family, lessen productivity at work and create many sleepless nights, understanding the source of your pain is essential for relief.

The ache and its sources

As a source of discomfort, it may be hard to view pain in a positive light. But this natural, protective tool is used by the body as an alert of present or potential harm to tissues. While pain usually ceases once the stimulus has been removed and the damage to tissue has healed, there are many different factors involved for the amount of time the process takes. One thing is certain — whether it takes an hour or several months, relief is the main focus for those who suffer from any type of pain.

According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, approximately 100 million Americans deal with chronic pain, which is classified as discomfort lasting six months or longer. While this type of pain can range from minor to debilitating, it can disrupt the social and physical aspects of life in a major way. Those that suffer from this condition often experience headaches, backaches and neck pain, though it can aggravate other areas within the body. Due to its lengthy nature, chronic pain can often lead to emotional issues, such as depression and stress, which can exacerbate the healing process.

The best way to identify chronic pain is to be aware of its symptoms. This pain is persistent and can often be described as aching, burning or shooting. The area where the pain is located is often defined by patients as sore, tight or stiff. Because this type of pain can affect so many areas of life, many in the health community recommend a comprehensive mind and body approach for its management. This can include medication, injections, acupuncture and other holistic treatments.

Here are some of the common types of chronic pain and a few ways to end the discomfort, so you can get back to enjoying life.

Back and neck pain

What causes nearly 40 percent of missed work days in the U.S. and is the fifth most common cause for doctor visits? Running from the top of the neck to the bottom of the spine, back pain is a common complaint among many people. While back pain is typically divided into the most common areas of neck, middle back, lower back and tailbone, its symptoms can also be felt in other parts of the body, including arms, hands, legs and feet.

Some of the common remedies for back and neck pain include everything from massage therapy, acupressure, acupuncture, back conditioning exercises and medication. Due to the controversy surrounding the last remedy, many patients prefer a more natural way to ease back pain with hot and cold therapy, such as Thermal-Aid Large Sectional Pack, which helps eliminate swelling and eases pain on any area of the back.

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