Chronic pain affects close to 50 million Americans with symptoms like severe headaches, nerve pain, muscular soreness, and back pain. Chronic pain is a nervous system disorder, and does not usually result from any visible injury. Below are 15 common causes of chronic pain, including vitamin B12 deficiency, and 15 potential treatments, including vitamin B12 supplements.
What is chronic pain?
If you break your leg, and it hurts for months afterwards, is that chronic pain? No. When you sustain an injury, your nervous system responds by sending out pain signals; that is referred to as “acute pain,” and it is a normal reaction.
With chronic pain, your nervous system continues to fire pain signals, even in the absence of any previous bodily injury. Chronic pain can last for many months or years, and make it difficult for the pain sufferer to handle everyday commitments.
Chronic pain causes
Below are the 15 most common causes of chronic pain:
- Neuropathy, including vitamin B12 deficiency and diabetic neuropathy
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Headache, including migraines and cluster headaches
- Lower back pain
- Arthritis pain, including osteoarthritis
- Psychogenic pain
- Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
- Visceral pain, including pancreatitis and active hepatitis
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Interstitial cystitis
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction
Also read: I have Fibromyalgia…Which Supplements should I take?
Chronic pain treatments
Only about 58% of chronic pain sufferers find relief through prescribed painkillers. The best way to treat chronic pain is with a multi-pronged approach that incorporates physician-approved medication, relaxation techniques, vitamins, and holistic treatments for pain.
Below are 15 effective pain treatments:
- Pain relievers, including acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and aspirin
- Opioids (narcotics), including codeine, morphine, and oxycodone
- Antidepressants, including tricyclic antidepressants (Elavil, Tofranil, Anafranil, Norpramin, Sinequan, and Pamelor) and some SNRIs (Effexor and Cymbalta)
- Anticonvulsants Tegretol, Dilantin, Neurontin, Lyrica, and Lamictal, particularly with migraine headaches
- When vitamin B12 deficiency occurs with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome or diabetic neuropathy, then replenishing vitamin B12 levels through supplementation has been found to be extremely beneficial.
- Herbal supplements
- Chiropractor care
- Low-impact exercise, including walking, stationary bicycling, swimming, yoga, and tai chi
- Physical therapy
- Nerve stimulation
- Cognitive behavioral therapy, particularly helpful with psychogenic pain
Also read: Pernicious Anemia- Vitamin B12 Deficiency is Nerve Rattling- Peripheral Neuropathy
Please tell us…
Do you suffer from a type of chronic pain that isn’t listed above? Which of the 15 pain treatments have you tried, and which have been the most helpful? If you currently use prescription painkillers or narcotics, have you considered replacing them with natural supplements that do not cause side effects?
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Read more about chronic pain and vitamin B12 deficiency:
9 Conditions that Mimic Fibromyalgia and Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia- Is there a Difference?
If Vitamin B12 Deficiency Mimics Multiple Sclerosis, How do you tell the Difference?
Top Causes of Chronic Pain
NINDS Chronic Pain Information Page
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