Quality of life is a measure that aims to capture an individual’s overall well-being and happiness. While it’s highly subjective, some factors always play a role — and one of those is health.
Your health has an undeniable effect on your perceived quality of life. When you’re healthy, your quality of life is better than when you’re sick, injured, or in pain.
Acute pain is a normal and necessary response to injury. It serves as a warning sign that something is wrong so you can seek the medical attention you need to heal. With proper care, acute pain usually doesn’t affect your quality of life in the long term.
When acute pain becomes chronic, it’s a different story. Chronic pain can have a significant impact on your quality of life, and it’s not so simple to treat.
Eric Fanaee, MD, and our team specialize in chronic pain management. In this blog post, we examine how acute pain impacts you, what causes it to become chronic, and how you can manage it.
Acute pain vs. chronic pain
Acute pain comes on suddenly. It usually has a clear cause, like an injury or illness. Acute pain ranges from mild to severe, but its duration is usually fairly short — from a few hours to a few weeksSeeking prompt medical care for your acute pain is important. Starting treatment as soon as possible helps your body recover faster, which means your pain begins to fade sooner. Unfortunately, acute pain can sometimes persist. When pain lasts longer than about six months, it’s considered chronic.
Chronic pain interferes with your ability to perform daily activities. It’s uncomfortable, it decreases your mobility, and it limits your physical function. This pain can also disrupt sleep, making it difficult to get a good night's rest and making you feel chronic fatigue.
Experiencing chronic pain also takes an emotional toll. People who have chronic pain are more likely to develop depression and anxiety. Needless to say, all of these factors can significantly impact quality of life.
Possible causes of chronic pain
Anyone can suffer chronic pain. It can be a symptom of a pain condition like arthritis or fibromyalgia. But one of the most common causes of chronic pain is failure to fully heal from injury or illness.
Acute pain can turn into chronic pain if the underlying cause of your pain isn’t adequately treated or if you suffer reinjury. Although you can’t 100% prevent acute pain from becoming chronic, taking a proactive approach can help lower your risk of long-term complications from injury or illness.
Managing pain to improve your quality of life
Whether acute or chronic, you should never ignore pain. Managing pain and reducing its impact on your quality of life requires a multifaceted approach, and we’re here to help you find a combination of treatments to fit your needs.
Pain management techniques
If your pain is acute, treating the cause can relieve your discomfort. If your pain is chronic, we may recommend a combination of ongoing treatments like pain medication, physical therapy, regenerative medicine, massage, or chiropractic care.
We also work to understand your lifestyle and make suggestions to lessen the impact that pain has on your daily life. Changes may include modifying your daily activities to reduce stress on your body, engaging in regular exercise to build strength, and making changes to your diet and sleep habits.
Acute pain may not affect your quality of life right away. But if that pain becomes chronic, it can begin having a negative impact. By working with Dr. Fanaee and taking an active role in your own care, you can find relief and boost your quality of life.
Chronic pain can be a lonely and isolating experience, and addressing the emotional aspects of chronic pain can help improve your quality of life. We may recommend building a support network of loved ones, seeing a mental health professional, and practicing mind-body techniques, like yoga, and deep breathing.
How does your pain affect your quality of life? Call us at 631-265-2020 to schedule your first appointment, or contact us online for more information about how we can help. We’re conveniently located in West Islip, Smithtown, and Bethpage, New York.