3 Ways to Spot Pain Before it Worsens

Pain is your body's way of telling you that something is wrong. It's normal to have pain when you are sick or injured, but pain that lasts for months is a cause for concern.

By Grant Connelly

Chronic pain impacts roughly 1 in 4 Canadians. Yet, most people that develop chronic pain can't actually point to a specific incident or root cause, making it harder to diagnose and treat. Therefore, it's essential to keep an eye out for chronic pain symptoms before the condition worsens.

Here are 3 questions to ask yourself to help spot and detect pain.

Is your pain persistent?

Chronic pain can carry on for longer than 12 weeks despite medication or treatment. The pain may feel sharp or dull, causing a burning or aching sensation in the affected areas. It may be steady or intermittent, coming and going without any apparent reason.

It's also important to note that chronic pain can occur in nearly any part of your body. If your pain is lingering, with no history of injury or operation, it's essential to visit your healthcare physician.

Are you feeling stressed or anxious?

Stress and anxiety can contribute to chronic pain. In addition, the prevalence of mood and anxiety changes can be exceptionally high among people with chronic pain. Chronic pain is a holistic condition impacted by social, biological, and psychological factors such as daily activities, employment, and general well-being. Therefore, it's vital to check in on your emotional well-being. To that end, it is also crucial to identify any changes in your mood — this could result in changes in your physical well-being, too.

How much is the pain impacting your daily life?

Pain, when not treated and managed correctly, can be detrimental to your everyday life. With chronic pain, time, energy, and attention are often in limited supply. Taking note of your daily habits, such as your work-from-home setup, can help positively shift your discomfort. Ensuring your workspace is ergonomically correct is an effective way to change your 9 to 5 routine. Long hours spent at your desk, with eye strain and minimal exercise, can lead to worsened pain symptoms. Remember: pain is a holistic condition and requires holistic treatment. So look beyond medicine and be sure to spot why you're feeling pain before you begin to treat it.

Grant Connelly is the CEO of NeuPath Health, Canada's leading healthcare provider delivering category-leading treatment for chronic pain, as well as spinal injuries, sports-related injuries, and concussions, which owns 15 pain clinics in Canada.