Doctors that sign up for PRP and stem cell therapy training at the Advanced Regenerative Medicine Institute, do so for several different reasons. Among them is a desire to offer patients suffering from chronic pain some sort of relief beyond long-term pain medication. Chronic pain is a serious condition that affects millions of people. It is something that can be quite debilitating if left untreated.
The generally accepted definition of chronic pain is that which lasts for more than 12 weeks. Most instances of chronic pain involve some sort of pain that is nearly constant, though a patient could notice relief for a few hours per day and still be diagnosed with chronic pain.
Chronic pain is problematic because it affects more than just the body part that hurts. Over a sustained period of time, constantly experiencing pain can lead a person to develop new physical, emotional, and mental issues. So it is important for doctors to have effective tools for either managing chronic pain or eliminating it.
Here are five ways chronic pain negatively affects life:
1. Elevated Threat Level Perception
Pain is a natural reaction to a current condition that poses some sort of threat to the body. When such a threat exists, the affected part of the body sends distress signals to the brain so as to make the brain aware of the threat in question. Unfortunately, chronic pain can lead to an elevated threat level perception. In simple English, a person suffering from chronic pain can gradually become irrationally fearful of anything that he or she perceives could make the pain worse.
2. Increased Risk of Depression
Numerous studies have shown that chronic pain and depression are interrelated. People who suffer from chronic pain are more susceptible to depression if that pain limits what they can do on a daily basis. A loss of function or freedom can further drive depression, which can, in turn, increase the perception of pain. This creates a vicious cycle that often devastates a person’s life.
3. Significant Cognitive Impairment
People who suffer from chronic pain for extended periods of time may also experience cognitive impairment. In other words, they do not think as clearly and as rationally as they did before the chronic pain set in. Why does this happen? Because the brain has to work so hard to deal with the stress and elevated threat perception caused by the chronic pain that it does not have as much energy to put into cognition.
4. Strained Relationships
Chronic pain patients often undergo personality changes over time. Likewise, their caregivers may experience their own personality changes as a result of having to live with and care for their chronically ill loved one. The result is often strained relationships. These include relationships between spouses, parents and their children, and even extended family members.
5. Chronic Exhaustion
Lastly, chronic pain takes its physical toll on the body due to elevated stress and threat levels. Constantly living under such a stressful circumstance leads to chronic exhaustion that only makes the pain worse. Patients are always tired, they are frequently sleepy, and they complain of persistent lethargy throughout the day. Interestingly enough, it’s quite common for chronic pain patients to have trouble sleeping despite their exhaustion.
As you can see, chronic pain can be a debilitating condition if left untreated. Now you know why Advanced Regenerative Medicine Institute and the doctors they train are so enthusiastic about PRP and stem cell therapies. If the therapies can bring an end to chronic pain for patients, then proponents of those therapies want to see them become mainstream.