The Merry-Go-Round of Chronic Pain

chronic pain, pain management

As if it’s not enough that some people have chronic pain, we know that these people also don’t live as long. There is new evidence that persistent pain affects the function of the same cells that fights AIDS, lymphomas, and other diseases associated with an impaired immune system.

It is hard to know how much shorter life expectancy is with people in persistent pain, but this discovery offers some insight as to why life expectancy is less than the average person without persistent pain.

There is also growing evidence that many persistent pain diseases are due to inflammation. Here is the rub. All people in chronic persistent pain experience a stress response. This stress response affects T-cell function and the body’s ability to resist disease and heal. There seems to be a circular effect that stress impairs the immune system, which causes more pain, and that leads to more stress and on and on.

It’s like being on a merry-go-round. Round and round we go.

Where we get off, no one knows. Perhaps targeting the inflammatory process is an answer to stopping the merry-go-round so we can safely get back to solid ground.

Purchase my book The Painful Truth: What Chronic Pain Is Really Like and Why It Matters to Each of Us (available on Amazon) or read a free excerpt here.the painful truth, lynn webster, md, chronic pain
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Copyright 2016, Lynn Webster, MD


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