Pain is supposed to be something that helps us. It’s a signal that we should stop doing whatever it is that we’re doing, like holding our hand over an open flame, in order to protect ourselves. But all too often pain isn’t useful. It’s just a pain in the butt. The actual cause of the pain is so divorced from what we experience that it seems to serve no purpose whatsoever.
But just because the source of the pain is less visible, doesn’t mean that the pain shouldn’t be taken seriously. Here are some of the things that could be causing your pain.
Lyme disease is a serious infection spread by the black-legged tick. Some people can be infected with Lyme disease and not know it for years on end. They have serious fatigue, terrible headaches and often have to visit a pain management doctor because of widespread musculoskeletal pains. What’s worse, Lyme disease often goes undiagnosed, thanks to the unwillingness of many doctors to test for it.
The good news is that the treatment is relatively straightforward. All that’s needed is a course of antibiotics if the disease is in its early stages. If however, the disease has progressed, it can cause inflammation of the joints (leading to similar symptoms as those found in arthritis) as well as heart rhythm problems and nervous system problems. If you’ve been out in nature and have been bitten by a tick, then you should probably get it checked out.
Low Levels Of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient in the body. But during the winter months, people don’t get enough of it because most of what they produce comes from exposure to the sun. Around this time of year, they are getting unusually low on vitamin D since they’ve been indoors now for many months.
Vitamin D is required for the absorption of calcium, an essential ingredient for strong and healthy bones. According to the Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people with low levels of vitamin D only absorb around 15 percent of all the calcium that they eat. Calcium is required to build strong and healthy bones, and without it, people can feel fatigue, bone ache and weakness.
Fortunately, the solutions are very straightforward. All that’s needed to remedy the problem is daily supplementation of around 2000 IU of vitamin D until the sun comes out again. Women need to be especially careful when it comes to bone health as they are more at risk than men of osteoporosis.
It might sound cliched, but stress can be a massive factor in chronic pain. People respond to stress in all sorts of different ways, and for many, that means physical aches and pains. Symptoms of stress include headaches, chest pain, fatigue, sleep problems and upset stomach. If you’ve ever been in a stressful situation with people you don’t like, you might have found yourself experiencing any one of these symptoms.
Although stress is almost impossible to entirely eliminate, there are many steps you can take to manage it. The Mayo Clinic, for instance, suggest that you take up things like yoga. It’s also been shown that your gut bacteria have an influence on how you feel. It’s a good idea, therefore, to feed good bacteria their favorite food: fiber.
Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by constant pain throughout the body, as well as fatigue and sleep problems. It can include symptoms like irritable bowel, morning stiffness, problems with thinking, mood disorders, migraines, painful bladder issues and inflammation of the pelvis.
Unfortunately, there is no known cure for fibromyalgia. In fact, doctors and medical researchers don’t really have a good handle on what the disease actually is. Some suggest that it might have a genetic component, while others chalk it up to lifestyle factors.
Usually, doctors treat the disease by prescribing drugs that target the painful symptoms. Fibromyalgia sufferers are often put on lifelong painkillers and muscle relaxants to help reduce the perception of pain in their brain.
Other techniques also include modifying lifestyle factors, as these have sometimes been shown to help. Doctors at the Mayo Clinic, for instance, use balanced diets, physical therapy and massage techniques to try to reduce the perception of pain. Although most doctors will prescribe drugs to treat the problems, many studies on fibromyalgia have shown that the most effective methods of dealing with the disease might be lifestyle-related.
It’s also worth checking whether you do indeed have fibromyalgia or whether, in fact, you’re suffering from a case of chronic fatigue syndrome. The two are closely related.