Most women know that they will experience some form of pain from time to time, but when that pain turns chronic, it is often more than they can bear. If you are experiencing pain that is relentless, you should know that you have options and you don’t always need to be subjected to narcotic pain killers that simply mask the underlying condition. Following are some of the most common types of chronic pain in women and some of the ways in which they are treated.
Chronic Pelvic Pain of Unknown Etiology
Perhaps the most common type of chronic pain in women is usually referred to as Chronic Pelvic Pain, CPP, and the odd thing about this particular syndrome is that most often there is no definitive ultimate cause. Of course if a woman should fracture a pelvic bone at some point in her life that would explain the pain. However, there are a number of other underlying causes that can be, and often are, suspected. Also, there are often other issues that can be associated with this type of pain and doctors take a good look at the circumstances for clues as to the ultimate cause. Those associated issues include such things as:
- Bowel dysfunction
- Bladder dysfunction
- Drug addiction
This is not to say that these are, in and of themselves, the root cause for the pain but it is something that doctors need to look at because they are often diagnosed together. The cause? It is not clear how these conditions coexist but the fact remains that they do. The treatment is often a multidisciplinary approach that uses physical and psychological therapy as well as pharmaceutical pain relief and sometimes even holistic approaches such as meditation.
When treating a problem such as CPP, reputable treatment facilities such as Michigan Pain Specialists in Ann Arbor seek alternatives that can help women stay free of drug therapy when at all possible. However, specialists such as these will always seek the most thorough treatment so that women are able to live a better quality of life free from incapacitating pain.
Lower Back Pain
Although both men and women are equally affected by low back pain, it appears as though most women suffer from a common cause. It has been suggested that most often women are affected with lower back pain because they are typically not as strong as men and as a result, have poor lifting habits. Whereas most men are more muscular and can easily lift heavier weights, many women bend from the waist to pick up large loads instead of using their leg muscles to propel the weight upwards.
Pain in the lower back can often be a problem for women who are buxom. Compensating for the extra weight in the front of the body often puts undue stress on the lower region of the back and this is why treating this type of pain may take on an unusual form. Many women simply need to undergo breast reduction in order to balance out the distribution of weight on the upper portion of their body.
Treatment for pain in the lower back usually starts with some type of pharmaceutical to relieve the intensity while doctors run a series of tests and diagnostics to find the root cause. Obviously a doctor would look at a large-breasted woman and assume that is one of the contributing factors, but that may not be the sole source of the pain. Low back pain could also be the result of poor lifting habits and perhaps even a degenerative bone disorder.
Some women find relief from chiropractic adjustments while others work with physical therapists to strengthen the musculoskeletal system in the region. Others yet utilize traction devices to stretch those areas, thereby relieving much of the pressure between vertebrae. Working on better posture is also a way to relieve tension in the lower back, so doctors need to examine x-rays and other types of imaging to see if there is some systemic problem causing debilitating lower back pain.
A good pain specialist will try to use pharmaceutical intervention as either an initial adjunct to therapy or, as stated above, an initial intervention to relieve pain while a definitive diagnosis and treatment plan is devised. Professional pain specialists have often been seen as drug dispensaries but reputable clinics will avoid meds when viable treatments can relieve and even cure the underlying cause. If you are seeking relief from CPP or lower back pain, it is important to understand that drugs are not the answer. Treatment should always seek to heal, not to mask and that’s what you should expect from a reputable specialist.