To answer that question, first, you have to know the definition. According to the National Institutes of Health Medline Plus, chronic pain is any pain that lasts more than 12 weeks and can arise from an initial injury or from an ongoing cause due to an illness. Some examples of chronic pain are:
- Chronic Headaches
- Back pain
- Or any debilitating, continuous or intense condition that attacks the body
With some people, the pain can be on and off, and ongoing for months or even years. Also, it could have no known cause. When a person suffers from chronic pain, it can be life-altering.
“I remember one instance when my husband developed two auto-immune diseases, one after another. First, he developed myasthenia gravis, which attacked his muscles; then later, he developed lupus, which attacked his joints and kidney. The pain he suffered was so excruciating that it became debilitating for him. In fact, for two months, he was bedridden and I had to literally help him do everything except eat and do his toilet business. He went on to have blood transfusions, chemo therapy, and later a kidney transplant. So, when I hear people say they suffer from chronic pain, I believe it and know the pain is real.”
Oftentimes, when dealing with chronic pain over a period of time, it can sometimes lead to depression, thoughts of suicide, and bouts of anger among yourself or towards others. In fact, there are a number of ways people react to and deal with their pain suffering. Remember, millions of people suffer from chronic pain and they are looking for relief.
According to an article published by “The Good Body,” there are 100 million Americans and 1.5 billion people worldwide who suffer from chronic pain with lower back pain being 27% of the most common cause. The article went on to say that chronic pain is the #1 cause of long-term disability, and with women, they suffer 2 times more with headaches, migraines and facial pain. With that said, it’s important to find ways to try and be as comfortable as possible through the pain. As a matter of fact, there are a number of ways that can help with monitoring or managing pain once it has been diagnosed and is being treated. For instance, some people find that going to a chiropractor can be helpful, others take opioids which sometimes lead to addiction creating a new problem. Then there is yoga, a practice that is often overlooked, mostly because it’s misunderstood. As a matter of fact, when most people think of yoga, they think of people stretching their body in weird positions. But yoga is so much more. It is for that reason, I have invited Qat Wanders, a yoga professional to help you understand chronic pain, and to give insight into how yoga can possibly help you or someone you know through pain.
Meet Qat Wanders
She is a yoga expert who has personally suffered with chronic pain for close to 30 years before she discovered a system to rid herself of the pain, and for the last 10 years, she has helped others overcome their pain through the same methods. Follow along as I ask her questions that could possibly help you.
Tell us something about yourself.
- After spending 30 years dealing with chronic pain, I was able to heal using a combination of techniques I had studied over the years. It wasn’t until I figured out there was no Magic Bullet because everyone was different, that I was able to refine my system. It turned out to be a matter of dealing with the pain first. Learning to handle it better. Then I could start to heal from the inside out.
Why should people listen to you?
- I am a licensed physical therapist and yoga therapist. I also have certifications in Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Integrative Medicine. But none of that really matters, to be honest. What matters is the fact that I have helped hundreds of people.
What is chronic pain? What is the difference between chronic pain and acute pain?
- The difference is simple. Although sometimes they go hand-in-hand. Chronic pain persists. Day and night. It never goes away. You know it will always be there on some level.
What are some ways to deal with pain?
- It’s really all about the mindset. Painkillers can only take you so far. But if you keep your thoughts in a continuous state of suffering, it only brings you more suffering. The people who heal the fastest are the optimistic ones.
What are the pros and cons of taking pain medication?
- Pain medication certainly has its purpose. It can break the pain cycle so you can actually function as a human being for an hour or two. However, the long-term consequences can be extreme. Brain fog, losing mental cognition, your organs shutting down, cancer, Alzheimer’s, the list goes on and on.
How can yoga help with pain? Is it expensive? What do you think about other methods of helping with pain such as chiropractor treatments?
- Yoga isn’t what a lot of people think it is. It’s not just bending and stretching. It’s not just breathing. It’s an ancient science that has been passed down for generations. The methods that I teach do not just put you into pretzel positions. You start with the mind, then the breath, the body is the last thing you work on. Therefore, I generally don’t suggest chiropractic therapy and yoga as beginning treatment. That stuff comes later; once you have started to heal from the inside out.
How have you helped people overcome chronic pain?
- I spent years combining the different techniques that I learned to design the mindful movement techniques I teach in my book. I used to work with clients one-on-one in a special program setting. While this isn’t my practice anymore, I have put all of my knowledge into my book, Overcoming Chronic Pain Through Yoga. I am currently working on my second book in the genre, The Pain-free Mindset. It is my life’s work in a 5 by 8 format.
Tell us about your method to overcome chronic pain. Does it matter what type of chronic pain as to whether your system works?
- Absolutely not. This works for everyone because it all starts in the mind. It also gives you the tools to branch out into different healing modalities once you have your foundation.
Are there specific types of chronic pain that you help people through?
- Nerve pain and fibromyalgia are my specialties because they are what I have struggled with the most.
If someone wanted your help or more information, how could they reach you?
- You can purchase my book on Amazon at http://a.co/d/8ow9ONy to get more information.
- You can also follow my blog: www.QatWanders.com
- My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
NIH Medline Plus. Chronic Pain: Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Treatment. Issue: Volume 6 Number 1 Page 5-6. Spring 2011. https://medlineplus.gov/magazine/issues/spring11/articles/spring11pg5-6.html.
The Good Body. Chronic Pain Statistics: Facts, Figures And Research. July 23, 2017. https://www.thegoodbody.com/chronic-pain-statistics/.