Skip to main content

Chronic Pain And The Loves of Our Lives...or the Lack Thereof

According to a 2015 NIH study, nearly 50 million Americans suffer from some form of chronic or severe pain. That number is alarming. And if that isn't bad enough, chronic pain not only affects an individual, but all family, friends, husbands, wives, and others connected to that individual.

Maybe those not affected by chronic pain don't stop to think about the impact of this statistic.  For one thing, chronic pain affects the most intimate relationships because it can impact the ability to be physically intimate.  Consider fibromyalgia as an example... even the slightest touch can be excruciating. That's only one example--many other possibilities exist. At some point, someone with chronic pain may even "opt out" of physical love completely, just because it hurts too much.

Pain management medications take their toll on these relationships as well.  In as much as they benefit the patient, side effects such as decreased libido and fatigue can be a problem. Communication with our partners, our families, and our pain care team is of utmost importance here. Medications and other pain management efforts can and should be individualized to get the most benefit with the least amount of interference in the other parts of life. Let's not forget--quality of life is important!

Chronic pain has an emotional impact also.  Depression is not uncommon, affecting the patient as well as romantic partners and other family and friends who are associated with that patient.
Loss of self esteem is not unusual either. And the patient and all around them are affected by that lack of self-esteem as well.

If you or a loved one suffers from chronic everything you can to achieve a balance in this regard.  We're all in this together... and it's the best medicine for all parties involved!

Sources:; American Pain Society;Pixabay


Popular posts from this blog

Living with Chronic pain hits the big screen!

Been to the movies lately?  Jennifer Aniston is on the big screen in a recent release titled "Cake."
Her character, Claire is a victim of chronic pain...she belongs to a support group, where all of the members are coming to terms with the suicide of one of their members.  Of course, she also takes pain medication and addiction is another of her problems...and of course there's more!

I guess I am writing this post just to bring readers' attention to the fact that Hollywood has become aware of the crisis that is chronic pain.  This movie is a testament to that. People that don't have to live with this kind of pain don't fully understand the whole story.  Maybe this movie will shed some light on the issues.

Here is the official trailer for the movie:

Sources: prweb;;YouTube

Herpes As A Helper?

If you've ever had shingles, or known anyone that has experienced it, you probably know that chronic pain can persist following the initial attack (post herpetic neuralgia).  This is because the herpes virus seems to have an affinity for nerve cells.  And while it's not fun to have shingles or post herpetic neuralgia, the herpes virus may be a key in future development of delivery systems for pain management treatments.

Here's the deal--since Herpes simplex has an affinity for nerve cells, researchers are looking a genetically modified, safer version of the virus to deliver genetic material to damaged nerves.  In simple terms, once the genetic material reaches these nerve cells, it will hopefully encode these nerves to ultimately inhibit pain signals.  Animal studies and clinical trials in cancer patients have been encouraging thus far.

This is one of those developments that makes me believe that there is hope for those in chronic pain. Along with so many other exciting d…

The Knee Bone's Connected To The Leg Bone....

Two recent studies have brought a not-so-novel concept into the limelight-the concept being that people who present with knee pain often develop pain in other parts of their bodies.  These studies, known as the Multicenter Osteoarthritis Study (MOST) and the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI), were assessed by a Clinical Epidemiology Team as Boston University School of Medicine in an effort to find preventive strategies to combat this trend.

The authors suggest that knee pain may cause individuals to alter their gait in an effort to compensate for their discomfort. In doing so, the alignment of other body joints is altered, and this may be the cause of secondary joint pain, especially hips and ankles. The authors go on to say that the pain in these secondary sites is not necessarily osteoarthritis--perhaps bursitis or some other injury.

Osteoarthritis is a result of wear and tear in the joints.  We may not be able to completely eliminate osteoarthritis from occurring, but some common se…