Did you know that there are 28 million people who suffer with chronic or persistent pain and that in 2019, £570 million was spent on over the counter pain relief? It’s quite staggering!
Migraine and back pain are one of the most common conditions. I am a migraine sufferer, so I can sympathise.
But is taking pills the only answer to remedy the problem?
The NHS definition of a chronic condition is something that lasts for 3 months or longer.
To focus on migraine in particular, figures show that:
- 1 in 15 men are sufferers
- 1 in 5 women are sufferers
Migraine can be caused by:
- lack of sleep
These are just some of the triggers. Mine are usually caused by stress, but too much chocolate can also bring on an attack!!
I have only ever used prescribed or over the counter pain relief, but there are other avenues to go down in relation to treatment.
A recent TV programme titled ‘How to beat pain’ followed a group of people who were suffering with a variety of chronic conditions. Those who suffered with migraine were given various treatment plans which did not involve medication.
- A migraine management plan
- Cold water swimming
The main idea behind the management plan was to adopt a strict sleep cycle every week. This included the weekends too. Getting 8-9 hours sleep each day, having no gadgets in the bedroom, and not watching TV before bed, all created regularity.
The results were quite astonishing, and pain scores dropped from 55 to 32 in one person, and from 100 down to 23 in another.
The cold water swimming reduced inflammation and boosted antioxidants. This in turn led to one sufferer not having any headaches at all. Really quite remarkable!
Those who were suffering with neck, back and shoulder pain were given a course of acupuncture. This was to stimulate the sensory nerves in the affected areas.
Again, the results were good. Pain scores went from 67 to 27 in one patient.
Show the results speak for themselves, but then the question was asked about chronic pain really being hypersensitivity, and the evidence that the brain changes as we age.