Living with chronic pain can be incredibly challenging, especially if the treatment you receive does not help much. You may also face anxiety, depression, panic attacks and other mental illness concerns that contribute to your pain symptoms, but you can overcome these problems with professional help.
How Pain Affects Anxiety
Chronic pain means pain lasts for a considerable amount of time. This condition can spawn or even increase anxiety symptoms, and it can also lead to feelings of depression. What is more is that anxiety can also increase pain sensitivity due to the connection between these two conditions. The potential for developing an anxiety disorder remains even after someone treats pain, so do not believe you can manage your symptoms without professional help.
Anxiety disorders and panic attacks can cause people to become hypersensitive to pain. Anxiety and chronic pain can leave you feeling so sensitive to pain that your mental state can makes pain feel much worse than it really is. Even mild pain can feel much worse once your mind focuses on it.
Increased pain sensitivity due to anxiety can make it difficult to tell the difference between problematic and normal pains. This is why it is so important to consult a medical professional, regardless of whether you think it your anxiety alone influences pain.
Anxiety and Chronic Pain Types
Several types of pain can heavily influence your anxiety, including the following examples:
- Anxiety disorders can result in hyperventilation, which can then lead to chest pain. Furthermore, simply experiencing these symptoms can accelerate your anxiety, which makes matters worse. Hyperventilation and chest pains are symptomatic of panic attacks, which can feel like a heart attack. However, don’t assume that you are having a panic attack when you feel chest pain; consult a medical professional to rule out a more serious situation.
- Muscle pains are a common result of anxiety, and it may remain even with pain treatment programs. Without treating anxiety, muscle pain might remain.
- Anxiety and chronic pain often create debilitating migraines. Migraines can leave you unable to function, and definitely lead you to pain treatment programs to relieve the tension and blinding pain.
- Back and shoulder pain often occur in those with anxiety disorders. This is likely due to muscle tension and the way that you sleep or sit when you are consumed by anxiety.
- Stomach pain and irritable bowel symptoms often accompany anxiety. While many pains can lead to anxiety, doctors are still not sure if anxiety increases digestive problems and stomach pain.
If you have any of these problems, seek professional help as soon as possible.
Treatment for Anxiety and Chronic Pain
Treatment solutions can vary greatly between patients, and will be based entirely on each person’s symptoms. Some treatment programs rely heavily on opiates to ease pain, which can lead to an addiction that makes the situation worse. Opiate dependence can cripple those with anxiety and chronic pain, which is why it is vital to explore alternative treatment options to address both issues.