15 Mar Why Restoring Lost Function Is a Priority for Us
The pain medicine specialists here at Lone Star Pain Medicine work with patients to help them find much needed pain relief. But another one of our priorities is restoring lost function. Restoration is important to us as pain relief is to our patients. Why? Because we know the hidden dangers of losing function and not getting it back.
Our doctors treat pain caused by a long list of conditions. We see patients suffering from back pain, shoulder and neck pain, sports injuries, migraine and severe headaches, and even cancer-related pain. And in so many cases, patients have either lost significant function or are on the verge of losing it. We hate to see that happen.
Loss of Function Affects Daily Life
A loss of function in any body part affects daily life. Imagine a patient with arthritic knees. If the pain is serious enough to be uncomfortable, the patient may avoid walking. Right there is a loss of function. How does that affect the patient’s daily life? It encourages the patient to be largely sedentary. That is not good. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to all sorts of things including obesity and hypertension.
Likewise, a patient suffering from debilitating shoulder pain may decide not to use the affected arm. Perhaps that doesn’t sound bad, at least until you actually have to get used to living life with one working arm. Suddenly you take the fact that you have two arms more seriously. Life with just one isn’t so easy.
Loss of Function Affects Quality of Life
In addition to making life more difficult, a loss of function can affect a person’s quality of life. Let us go back to the example of osteoarthritis in the knees. Imagine being a golfer who gradually finds playing the game more difficult because of knee pain. If a loss of function prevents you from playing, your golf clubs may end up gathering dust in the garage. A game that you loved is now out of reach.
Loss of function can also be a contributing factor in developing mental health issues. And as we know, mental health issues can negatively impact a person’s quality of life. Whether the loss of function is due to arthritis, frozen shoulder, or lingering back pain matters little. What matters is at the patient is struggling to live a full and vibrant life.
It Only Gets Worse
The icing on the proverbial cake is not good news. Here it is – failing to restore a loss of function almost always means it only gets worse. Once again, let us go back to the knee arthritis example. If knee pain causes a person to voluntarily limit mobility, that person creates additional problems for himself.
Spending too much time sitting down causes the leg muscles to lose mass and strength. Likewise for the tendons and ligaments holding everything together. This leads to weakness in the knee joints. The weaker the joints are, the more serious the arthritic condition becomes. Over time, limiting mobility only makes moving around more difficult. Voluntarily limiting mobility creates a vicious cycle in which the patient moves less, hurts more, and further limits his mobility.
We don’t want to leave this post on a sour note. We want you to know that, regardless of the root cause of your chronic pain, there are treatments and therapies capable of relieving that pain and restoring lost function. It is important that any lost function be addressed. Otherwise, things only get worse.
And now you know why restoring lost function is a top priority here at Lone Star Pain Medicine.