We all know about emotional pain, but what about physical pain?
Emotional pain and crises can change a person’s quality-of-life, perspective on the world, and personality, but what about physical pain? Can chronic pain change you?
Physical pain can indeed change a person in ways that are as life-altering as emotional pain. Below are three ways your quality of life can be drastically affected by chronic pain.
Leo is a hair stylist who is on his feet all day, so when he developed persistent back pain it really affected his life. He’s tried everything from acupuncture to a chiropractor, and even the ancient form of alternative medicine called cupping therapy.
Between clients at work he uses a power massager on the pain areas. He’s also been known to lay down in the break room and have one of his co-workers help him with stretching exercises.
Each of these tactics provides temporary relief, but it only lasts for as long as an hour to a day. None of them have a lasting effect.
He hasn’t tried medication yet to help ease his pain because he worries about the side effects and the possibility of developing a dependency, or even worse, an addiction. He’s considering chemical pain management if things don’t improve soon.
This situation brings feelings of helplessness and depression for Leo. He often feels anxiety about the future of the career he loves. Leo gets pretty angry at the world because he doesn’t see why he has to endure this chronic back pain. The anger can lead to self-pity and resentment that he has a hard time controlling.
There’s no doubt that pain affects mood, and vice versa. Researchers used to believe that emotional conditions like anxiety and depression caused chronic pain. But as they have learned more about the way the brain and nervous system function, they’ve discovered that pain has some of the same biological processes that anxiety and depression do.
Bottom line: In at least 50 percent of sufferers, chronic pain very often overlaps with anxiety and depression*. Leo is not alone.
* FDA cleared for anxiety, insomnia and pain only, with approval for depression outside of the United States.
Leo is naturally a gregarious, outgoing, active guy. He’s always on the go and spends much of his free time doing DIY projects for his home and garden. His energy at work can be infectious. In fact, some of his colleagues call him “Electric Leo”. That was before he developed the chronic back pain.
Now, his daily activities have been severely limited by his pain. Nearly every movement can inflame his back, so he has to control how he moves. No longer is he able to work in his backyard or dance around his salon to entertain his clients. He’s had to develop specific ways to stand up or sit down that will limit the pain he encounters doing either. He’s also developed insomnia due to his condition and changed his natural sleep position in order to get the few hours of pain-free sleep that he can manage.
His behaviors toward others have changed as well. The lack of sleep has put him on edge and he can become easily provoked. Worst of all, his pain is so prevalent that it’s all he can focus on, making him less interested in the people in his life.
A recent study shows that people suffering from pain exhibited a greater self-centered perspective aimed at maximizing self-gain. It also suggests that physiological states may play a significant role in higher order interpersonal behavior and social interactions.
Researchers discovered that chronic pain can also make an individual less inclined to behave according to social norms that regulate most social and economic interactions. This aligns with the findings of an earlier paper available at the National Institutes of Health’s U.S. Library of Medicine. This research identified an association of greater intensity of pain with higher rate of egocentric bias and reduction of the capacity to react emphatically toward others.
Leo wants the never-ending cycle of physical pain and behavioral affects to stop. Now.
How have the changes in Leo’s mood and personality affected his life situations? His clients, who always look forward to seeing him, have noticed a marked change in his energy. Some have found other stylists and others are considering the change.
His demeanor hasn’t helped his personal life, either. His friends seem to be less inclined to spend time with him and his short fuse has caused problems with his beleaguered partner.
His financial situation is no better. All of the treatments he has tried and the hours missed at work have cost him lots of money. Like many chronic pain sufferers, Leo doesn’t see an end to what has become both a financial and personal crisis.
There is a permanent solution for people suffering from chronic pain.
Leo has tried many different types of holistic and traditional medical strategies for pain management and he’s wary of pain medications. Where can he turn? Electromedicine.
The pain sensation transmits through your body along billions of nerve cells through electrochemical signals. The Alpha-Stim® M is a handheld, prescription medical device that delivers advanced microcurrent electrical therapy (MET) to your pain site through a patented waveform that realigns your nervous system in a way that eliminates the pain signals. Best of all, The Alpha-Stim® M pain device delivers immediate relief from chronic pain. That means you’ll feel better after your first session. Plus, relief is long lasting and treatments are cumulative, meaning you can decrease use after time.
The Alpha-Stim® M electromedicine device even provides direct relief from the emotional effects of chronic pain. That’s because it can also deliver cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES). CES is proven to relieve the anxiety, insomnia, and depression that often accompany pain.
Chronic pain doesn’t have to ruin your life. The Alpha-Stim M is a very effective alternative to pain medications and other pain treatments.
But don’t take our word for it. Here’s what Leo had to say about Alpha-Stim:
“Before Alpha-Stim, my back was in pain nearly all of the time. I was angry, nervous, depressed and resentful. Worst of all, it was affecting my work and relationships. I was at my wit’s end. Now I’m the old active, friendly, passionate me who can think about things other than my pain. This was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Alpha-Stim has given me my life back.”