Chronic pain is believed to affect between one third and one half of the entire UK population. Have you been living with orthopaedic pain for too long?
A study published in the BMJ set out to determine the full extent of the pain burden in this country. Researchers reviewed 19 previous studies, analysing data from nearly 140,000 adults.
They concluded that just under 28 million adults are living with constant, ongoing pain and the study authors warned that the figure is likely to increase as the population ages.
Effects of chronic pain
Living with chronic pain can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. It can lead to chronic stress and result in increased blood pressure and heart rate.
If you are in constant pain you may experience a reduction in mobility, loss of interest in the things you used to enjoy, a reduction in energy and lack of appetite. You may become depressed or anxious. The pain may make you fearful of injuring yourself further, so you may limit the activities you take part in, which can lead to even greater impact on your quality of life.
Managing orthopaedic pain
There are some things you can do to manage your pain more effectively. Learning how to relax can reduce your stress levels. It can be helpful to learn deep breathing and meditation techniques.
If you are on medication, make sure you take it regularly in accordance with the instructions.
Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing side-effects or if the medication is not providing sufficient pain relief. Cutting back on alcohol and giving up smoking may also help.
Seek specialist help
While these can be useful self-help measures, it is important to seek professional medical help if you have chronic pain as most types of pain worsen over time if left untreated.
There can be many different causes of chronic pain, including degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis, as well as damage to bones or soft tissues. Your doctor may send you for one of a range of imaging tests to diagnose what is causing the problem, including:
- Ultrasound scan
- MRI scan
- CT scan
Treatment for orthopaedic pain
Treatments for chronic pain vary according to the cause and extent of the problem. For conditions affecting the joints, such as arthritis or bursitis, you may be offered an injection of corticosteroids into the affected area, which can help to reduce pain and calm inflammation.
Dry needling is a procedure that is designed to promote cellular regeneration and healing in conditions affecting the tendons such as tendonitis. Platelet-rich plasma injections use natural growth factors found in blood platelets to speed up the body’s natural healing process. It uses plasma taken from the patient’s own body and belongs to a branch of medicine called regenerative medicine.
If pain is called by severe joint damage, maybe due to arthritis or a fracture, you may be able to have joint replacement surgery. Hip, knee and shoulder replacements are now routine procedures that can provide effective and long-term pain relief and enable you to live life to the full once again.
If you are living with chronic pain, you don’t need to suffer in silence. Why not explore the pain relief that is available, whether it is a simple pain-relieving injection or surgery to repair or replace a damaged joint? We would be happy to advise you on your options and recommend the best treatment plan for you.
Orthopaedic specialists – Nottingham
Our orthopaedic consultants each specialise in a particular area of orthopaedics, giving you added peace of mind that you are receiving expert medical advice and highly tailored treatment.
BMI The Park Hospital
Sherwood Lodge Drive Burntstump Country Park, Arnold NG5 8RX
Spire Nottingham Hospital
Tollerton Ln, Tollerton, Nottingham NG12 4GA