People with chronic pain are often fighting an uphill battle with societal expectations—in addition to facing the suffering that comes with their condition.
Our culture teaches us to ignore the existence of illness, especially when it is chronic, invisible, complex and doesn’t fit the “typical” description of sickness. Healthy people tend to assume it’s an all or nothing deal: you’re either well or unwell; in pain or not. If people in chronic pain are seen engaging in physically challenging activities, like exercise, people on the outside might assume they are in good health. But many people suffer through exercise for the sake of saving face or trying to feel better. And the reality is their pain level might vary in a matter of days or even hours. The same activity they did yesterday might be unbearable to attempt today.
Speaking of saving face, physical appearance is another variable that can be misleading. It’s entirely possible for people to look well on the outside but be suffering a great deal on the inside. Oftentimes people with chronic pain conditions aren’t taken seriously by friends and family, making them feel in like a liar or a wimp. This, in turn, can foster feelings of isolation,
Also, oftentimes people with chronic pain conditions aren’t taken seriously by friends and family, making them feel like a liar or a wimp. This, in turn, can foster feelings of isolation, loneliness, and even depression.
Blame it on ignorance, not on mean-spiritedness, though. Most people look at pain as a finite experience. You might suffer after an injury or surgery for some period of time. It’s supposed to be temporary. But when things don’t improve and symptoms worsen, those around the patient are often at a loss as to why.
There is also the fact that pain is often associated with old age. When a 20-something complains of a chronic ache or pain, it seems less credible than when your 80-year old grandma talks about her arthritis. But the reality is pain knows no age. Some conditions can start to flare up early in life and worsen with age.
The good news is that people living with chronic pain can benefit from support systems and resources that can help them manage their condition and lead a fulfilling life. We at the Denver Spine Institute want to help you live the best life possible. Call us today at (303) 456-4466 to discuss your chronic back pain condition and to see if you are a candidate for the DRS Protocol treatment for back pain.