Professional athletes are well aware that, in addition to success and joy, sport brings tremendous tension, injuries, and, as a result, pain. Strikes, fractures, stretches are the constant companions of all serious sporting achievements, therefore the path of an athlete is always overcoming, first of all, himself and the reactions of his body. Over time, many put up with chronic pain, without giving it much importance. However, persistent pain can be a sign of a serious illness.
How to recognize chronic pain and how to get rid of them – we will understand in our article.
What is Chronic Pain?
For a long time, physicians identified only one type of pain arising from any injuries or manifestations of diseases. However, studies of the past 30 years have allowed doctors to talk about another type of pain – chronic.
If acute or epicritic pain is an organism’s response to direct tissue damage or inflammation, which gradually fades as it recovers and cures, then chronic pain is a defensive reaction that can only increase with time, thus being a source of new suffering. and discomfort. Chronic is called pain syndrome, which is observed in a patient for more than three months with an apparent improvement in the general condition.
Medical research shows that, in addition to discomfort, chronic pain can cause depression and other mental disorders. That is why it is so important to get rid of permanent long-term pain syndromes.
Causes of Chronic Pain Syndrome
The mechanism of transition of acute pain into chronic has not yet been fully studied, but it has already been revealed that the occurrence of persistent pain syndrome is dictated not only by physiological, but also psychological, and social factors.
The main causes of chronic pain – not fully cured injuries.
Athletes often neglect complete rehabilitation after injuries, arguing that the lack of time and the desire to quickly restore shape. But undertreated injuries can make themselves felt even years later, which greatly overshadow the athlete’s sports and daily life;
serious operations. After surgery, the body is under stress for a long time. Sometimes, even after fully recovering from surgery, patients continue to experience regional pain syndrome;
transferred heart attacks, strokes. Acute pathological conditions of the brain and heart cause disturbances in the activity of all body systems: nervous, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, etc. It is not always possible to fully restore all body functions. This leads to a depressed emotional state and the occurrence of chronic pain;
a sedentary lifestyle can be both a consequence and a cause of constant discomfort;
psycho-emotional disorders: sleep disorder, depression can also cause chronic pain syndrome, for example, persistent headache.
European doctors conducted a large-scale study in which 4,600 patients from 16 countries participated. These statistics are depressing: 20% of Europeans suffer from chronic pain, and every fifth of them have been experiencing pain for 20 years or more. In Russia, an average of 34 people out of 100 are prone to chronic pain of one kind or another.
Treatment of chronic pain syndrome
To eliminate chronic pain, first of all, determine the cause of their occurrence and localization. Then, depending on the etiology, a number of different measures are taken to eliminate the pain and prevent its recurrence.
Therapies for acute and chronic pain include:
Drug treatment (pain relief schemes)
Analgesics (for example, ketans), paracetamol and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed to relieve pain; to eliminate depression – sedatives and antidepressants (such as Prozac), helping not only to improve the general mood of a person, but also to create a favorable background for the action of painkillers. Most often, the doctor prescribes non-opioid analgesics, since opioids can be addictive and cause pain after discontinuation of drugs. Opioid-containing preparations are indicated only for very severe pain, for example, in oncology.
Medical and “amateur” (non-professional) massage is used to relieve muscle tension and hypertonia, and this is an effective anti-stress method. Massage improves lymph and blood flow, which is important if chronic pain is caused by a sedentary lifestyle or long-standing trauma.
Physiotherapy procedures, such as magnetic effects, UHF, electro- and phonophoresis, have an analgesic effect, not as pronounced as that of drugs, but noticeable. Hydrotherapy, mud therapy, thermal procedures, as well as ultraviolet radiation contribute not only to relieve pain, but also increase the emotional background.
Despite the fact that until recently, the effectiveness of acupuncture has been the subject of medical debate, it is now recognized that this method has yielded positive results in treating patients with chronic pain. It is extremely important that the procedures are carried out by an experienced specialist.
Therapeutic gymnastics and other types of physical education (for example, qigong) contribute to the improvement of the general physical and psycho-emotional state of patients. For athletes, physical exercise procedures are especially important, as they are the first step to returning to a normal training rhythm.
Individual and group classes with a psychologist will help a person understand the causes of pain and break the chain of pain-anxiety-depression-pain. The qualifications of the physician and his experience in working with patients suffering from persistent pain is also important here.
This method includes aromatherapy, autotraining, communication with people and animals (for example, “dolphin therapy”), walks, and creative activities. All this helps the patient to relax, to distract from feelings and, thereby, to ease the depressive state.
The main nuance of the treatment of chronic pain is that all procedures give a high and stable result only in the complex. If the patient is given only pharmacotherapy or a course of psychological help, there is a high risk not only of returning, but also of increasing the syndrome after the end of treatment.
How to quickly remove the pain? Emergency pain relievers
However, such situations arise when chronic and already quite seemingly familiar pain suddenly flares up with a new force, turning into an acute attack. Then you need to take emergency measures to get rid of unpleasant sensations, because physicians say that it is impossible to endure pain, especially severe – it can cause various sad consequences, even anaphylactic shock and coma. Usually, as a means of relieving pain in the shortest possible time, medications are used: in the form of injections, tablets or ointments. For example, in case of acute muscle spasms, injections of Ketanov, Ketorolac, with abdominal pains, “echoes” from operations and injuries – painkillers and antispasmodic pills such as nise, nurofen, diclac will help. When pains in the back and joints, creams, gels and ointments help well – voltaren, nimulid, long, etc.
Non-pharmacological agents can also be used: phyto, aromatherapy, effects on biologically active points, but these methods do not give such a quick and tangible result as medicamentous.
Therapy of acute and chronic pain in Moscow
Pain syndrome, acute or chronic, significantly darkens a person’s life and therefore it makes sense to seek medical help to permanently get rid of unpleasant sensations, whatever their nature and whatever they are caused. Unfortunately, not all municipal or even paid hospitals have a direction that provides a comprehensive approach to the cure of persistent or sudden pain. For athletes, such services are almost not provided in Russia.
However, in Moscow there are centers that specialize in the rehabilitation and disposal of patients from the effects of injuries and operations, chronic pain of a different nature. One of them is the Three Sisters Rehabilitation Clinic. Here, qualified doctors of different profiles combine their efforts to provide the entire necessary set of methods to maximize the recovery of the patient’s health, both physical and psychoemotional. Therapists, cardiologists, physiotherapy specialists, psychologists develop an individual course of events, and a favorable environment: peace, quiet, beauty of nature – contribute to the effectiveness of treatment. It is not surprising that the center has become a popular place among athletes who come here to rehabilitate after injuries and stress.