Chronic pain is a serious and debilitating condition. Many people suffering with chronic pain are so desperate for help that they’re willing to believe anything — and as a result buy into some chronic pain myths that could be unwise and even dangerous.
Myth: To Cure Chronic Pain, Just Treat the Underlying Cause
- But in many cases, the intersection of an underlying cause and pain is more complicated. Painful diseases might be chronic and hard to control. Sometimes pain lingers even after the original cause seems to have been resolved. Other times, the cause of pain is just plain mysterious.
Fact: Even Mild Chronic Pain Should Be Checked by a Doctor
- you need to get pain evaluated, even if it’s mild
treating pain promptly can sometimes prevent it from turning into hard-to-treat chronic pain.
Chronic pain is insidious. It sneaks up on people, worsening slowly and imperceptibly.
Myth: Bed Rest Is Usually the Best Cure for Pain
- “Now we know that for almost all types of chronic pain conditions, not just spinal pain, [prolonged] bed rest is almost never helpful,” says Cohen. “In some cases it will actually worsen the prognosis.”
Myth: Increased Pain Is Inevitable as We Age
- It’s unquestionably true that our odds of developing a painful condition, such as arthritis, are higher as we age. But those conditions can be treated and the pain can be well-controlled. So no matter what your age, never settle for chronic pain.
I have to question the statement that “pain can be well-controlled”. For many of us this is not possible and we have to live with semi-controlled pain. With current knowledge, chronic pain can only be dampened, not “controlled”.
Fact: Chronic Pain Is Connected With Depression
- “Pain can be a symptom of depression, and depression can certainly worsen the diagnosis of pain.” It’s a cruel combination. Often, it’s impossible to tell where one cause ends and the other starts.
Myth: Taking Opioid Painkillers Leads to Drug Addiction
- So it’s no surprise that many people with chronic pain fear that taking opioids will result in drug addiction. As a result, some people with terrible chronic pain refuse medication that could really help them.
The media’s relentless sensational stories of addiction are demonizing the best medication we have for pain. These “reports” consistently confuse addicts taking opiates “for fun” with legitimate patients trying to relieve their pain.
Myth: Taking Opioid Painkillers Will Completely Cure Chronic Pain
- Although opioids are effective at treating pain, they are not the Holy Grail of pain relief.
- So depending on the cause of chronic pain, opioid painkillers might help. But they’re not the universal “best” treatment for chronic pain.
Fact: There’s Rarely a Single Treatment That Will Cure Chronic Pain
- tackling chronic pain often requires a team of experts using a combination of approaches — different medications, physical therapy, psychological counseling, relaxation techniques, and more — to get it the pain control.
Fact: Even With Good Treatment, Chronic Pain Might Not Go Away
- It’s unfortunate but true.
- Even if experts can’t make your chronic pain disappear completely, treatment can still make a big difference. Pain isn’t everything, after all — it’s how your pain affects your quality of life that matters most.