Chronic pain is defined as pain that persists to the point where tissue healing is not possible or, simply put, lasts more than 3 months. The International Classification of Diseases considers chronic pain a disease in its own right. Chronic pain is a very common condition and one of the most common reasons for a person to see a doctor, as reports suggest that around 25% of adults suffer from chronic pain.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr. Raghavendra Ramanjulu, Senior Consultant in Palliative Medicine and Rehabilitation at Aster RV Hospital, shared: “An individual’s lifestyle plays an important role. in determining recovery from injury or chronic pain. Screening patients with chronic pain for inappropriate lifestyle habits that coexist and lead to abnormal behavior is imperative as a coping strategy. Chronic pain can affect a patient’s life, not only physically but also in social interactions, psychological well-being, and general outlook on life.
“The most well-proven holistic approaches to improving chronic pain are a healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet, sleep hygiene, exercise and yoga,” he revealed. The aforementioned practice is well known and is sure to improve any chronic illness, not just chronic pain. Concerns with integrating evidence routines in chronic patients are the considerable effort, rigor, and difficulty of maintenance. The simplest approach that patients take to deal with acute or chronic pain is to limit physical activity, take multiple pain medications, and possibly become dependent on substances.
According to him, alcohol consumption may show an initial improvement in acute pain due to its inhibitory effect on the nerve that transmits pain, while conversely, when the same pain becomes chronic. , such as persistent low back pain or fibromyalgia, which can have side effects. harmful effects or even worsening of pain and the risk of alcohol dependence/abuse. “They may also be at risk for other substance abuse, such as chronic painkiller overdose or smoking,” he points out. Several clinical studies have been conducted in patients with low back pain, where smoking does not directly affect pain perception. The only perception they felt was that their anxiety levels decreased for a short time. There is no proven positive long-term effect of smoking on patients with chronic pain, but it has resulted in the negative effects of increased smoking and nicotine addiction. Smoking also caused patients to report higher pain intensity, poorer pain tolerance, and worsening anxiety.