Living with chronic pain can affect you emotionally, as well as affect your quality of life and prevent you from doing the activities you once enjoyed. Research shows that more than 20% of the adult population in the U.S. reports chronic pain having a significant impact on their day-to-day lifestyle. Recent studies also suggest that chronic pain can compromise the immune system, making you more susceptible to infection and delayed healing. If pain and ill health are regularly impacting your life, a pain management clinic may be the solution to ease your suffering and restore your functionality.
Chronic pain is long-term pain that can range from irritating to severely debilitating, preventing you from carrying out normal day-to-day activities. It can also have a huge emotional impact, causing depression, stress, and anxiety. Chronic pain can be difficult to identify, and some people may not receive an accurate diagnosis for their chronic pain, making effective treatment difficult and elusive.
Chronic pain can include migraines, headaches, back pain, pelvic pain, generalized pain, and many other types of pain and can be caused by conditions, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), bowel and digestive conditions, reproductive organ problems, and neuropathy and nerve damage.
Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome can cause long-term, widespread pain, and a heightened response to pain. Fibromyalgia is a condition that affects parts of the body including the muscles, skin, and soft tissue, and it can cause symptoms such as muscle pain, stiffness, headaches, tender joints, and numbness and tingling in the arms, hands, legs, or feet.
How Is The Immune System Affected?
When pain persists long term from a condition such as fibromyalgia or arthritis, it causes an increased level of cortisol in the body. Cortisol, made by your adrenal glands, is the body’s main stress hormone which works with certain parts of your brain to control mood, motivation, and fear. It has a number of other important roles, including regulating blood pressure, reducing inflammation, increasing blood sugar, regulating the sleep cycle, boosting energy, and managing how your body uses carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
The brain and adrenal glands regulate levels of cortisol and release it accordingly. Cortisol receptors located in most of your body’s cells receive and use cortisol in different ways. If your body is on high alert, cortisol can alter or shut down certain functions that are considered less important such as the digestive, reproductive, and immune systems.
The immune system does need a certain amount of cortisol to work efficiently. If, however, the level of cortisol becomes elevated for an extended period of time, it can damage the cells that make up your immune system, making it harder for it to function properly and at its full capacity. When functions break down, your ability to fight issues like infections, a cold, or the flu, declines, and your long-term healing can be compromised. Being vulnerable to these issues along with dealing with chronic pain symptoms can be extremely challenging and put you at risk of other health problems and conditions.
Pain Management Experts In Austin, Texas
If chronic pain is affecting your life, talk to the pain management experts at Balcones Pain Consultants. We will work with you every step of the way to identify the underlying causes of your pain, regardless of where they are in your body. Our compassionate providers will identify the proper diagnostic tests and therapies to create a custom-tailored approach to treating your pain effectively.
Call our pain management experts today at (512) 834-4141 or use our secure online appointment request form to schedule a visit. We look forwarding helping you find relief, so you can live a pain-free, enjoyable life.