Chronic pain 101: What you need to know.
We all experience pain from time to time. It is an important warning signal that tells you something isn’t right in your body. While acute pain usually comes on suddenly and goes away when an injury heals, chronic pain is persistent and debilitating.
If you live with chronic pain, you’re not alone. In the United States, millions of people live with chronic pain, meaning it has lasted for longer than three months. Because treating pain can be tricky, finding effective treatment options can be a long and frustrating journey. But there is hope. There are many treatment options available. Newer options, like spinal cord stimulators, are helping people experiencing significant pain relief.
Types of chronic pain
So, what do you need to know about chronic pain? What are the different types of pain, and why does what the type of pain matter?
There are two types of chronic pain. If you are experiencing chronic pain, you may experience just one type or a mix of both types. Understanding the cause of the pain is the best way to determine which treatment options will provide the most relief.
When bones, ligaments, tendons, or muscles are damaged, the injury can cause pain. Doctors call this type of pain mechanical pain. If you have chronic pain after an injury, it is likely mechanical pain.
Neuropathic pain is often called nerve pain. Damaged nerves can overproduce pain signals, and this type of pain occurs when these false pain signals are sent to your brain. When the signal is strong, so is the pain. Because there is often no obvious pain source, nerve pain can be challenging – but not impossible – to treat.
What are the pros and cons of common treatment options?
When treating chronic pain, your doctor may prescribe medications, surgery, or injections to help you find relief from chronic pain. Every person and situation is different. So it makes sense that responses to these treatment options vary. They may leave you managing unwanted side effects. Here are some of the pros and cons of traditional treatment options:
Pros: Medication is often beneficial for acute pain.
Cons: The most significant drawbacks to prescription medication are the potential side effects, including constipation, drowsiness, and potential addiction.
Pros: If your pain is caused by damage to the bones, ligaments, tendons, or muscles, spine surgery can be an effective treatment option.
Cons: While spine surgery is appropriate for correcting mechanical issues, there is no guarantee that it will reduce your pain. And spine surgery is often ineffective for resolving nerve pain.
Epidural Steroid Injections
Pros: An epidural steroid injection delivers steroids directly into your spine. You may find injections effective for short-term pain relief.
Cons: Injections typically don’t offer long-term pain relief. If you are receiving epidurals, you will make regular visits to your healthcare provider for treatment.
Get long-term relief from chronic pain
If you live with chronic pain, you may be looking for a long-term option for pain relief. Spinal cord stimulator (SCS) systems have been used in the U.S. for more than 30 years for chronic pain treatment. SCS systems are helping people experience less pain and get back to the things they love.
So, how does it work? With a spinal cord stimulator, the transmission of pain signals to the brain is interrupted by delivering mild electrical pulses to the nerves. When this happens, many people experience less pain. HF10® has been proven to deliver significantly better and longer-lasting pain relief from chronic back and leg pain than other SCS systems.1
You don’t have to live with chronic pain. There is hope. With the right treatment plan, you can reduce your pain and regain your independence.
Is HF10 right for me?
Curious if HF10 might be right for you? Take a short assessment to find out.
- There are two types of chronic pain: mechanical pain and nerve pain.
- Nerve pain is more challenging to treat, but options are available. Each option has pros and cons.
- For many people who have had not found sufficient relief from prescription medications and surgery, HF10 spinal cord stimulators can be an effective treatment without side effects.
1.Kapural L, et al. Comparison of 10-kHz High-Frequency and Traditional Low-Frequency Spinal Cord Stimulation for the Treatment of Chronic Back and Leg Pain: 24-month Results from a Multicenter, Randomized, Controlled Pivotal Trial. Neurosurgery. Published 09 2016
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