September is U.S. Pain Awareness Month! Chronic pain is a major and quite debilitating problem in our society today. Chronic pain, in general, is defined as pain lasting longer than 3 months. While both pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches can be taken to treat pain, there is still a huge stigma attached to it. That is what needs to change. No what’s to be in nor do they want to endure the miserable treatments aimed at easing pain. More often than not, painkillers don’t do anything for chronic pain or at best, merely mask the true issue. It’s a big problem, but no one ever thinks about it until it happens to them. No one is safe from it. It affects all ages and all walks of life. The numbers are growing by the day, so more awareness is needed!
I deal with pain from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, hypermobility syndromes, Stiff Person Syndrome, Dystonia, Dysautonomia, Migraines, Tension Headaches, fibromyalgia, chronic underdiagnosed GI pain, SI joint dysfunction, peripheral neuropathy, and myofascial pain syndrome every single day. I haven’t been pain-free since November 2011 when I injured my knee and it never got better, before I developed all my conditions on August 24th, 2012.
Dealing with that many different conditions at once when they all cause pain every minute of everyday is exhausting.
I was to briefly mention two kind of pain that are not as well know and I’m struggling with both of them at the moment. One is called allodynia and it is a hypersensitivity to light touch. My bed sheets, clothes, the wind, water, my sweat, everything that touches me causes me pain.
The other part, hyperalgesia, is a hypersensitivity to normally painful stimuli. The other day, I accidentally pricked my fingertip with a safety pin. Not only did it hurt way more than it should have, it still hurts four days later. Honestly I barely even jabbed myself, but that would be hyperalgesia for you.
A cure for all of these conditions that cause chronic pain would be nice, but I’d be just has happy with an effective treatment! #PAM2017