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One topic that has recently drawn increased attention is how pain, particularly chronic pain, affects the immune system. Chronic pain can change the way the body handles infections, and research has shown that these changes happen down to the cellular level within our bodies. In addition to changing how our immune cells work directly, chronic pain can also trigger an increased stress response within our bodies. Think of stress as a combination of neurologic, endocrine, and immune system changes that all work together to resist and overcome an outside threat.

One of the main factors within the body’s endocrine system is cortisol, the stress hormone. During a prolonged period of stress (pain), the body’s cortisol level rises which decreases immune system function. An example of this phenomenon is that older caregivers who are under frequent stress have lower levels of immune cells like lymphocytes, have slower wound healing times, and are more susceptible to viral infections than other individuals. Other symptoms associated with chronic stress include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Digestive problems
  • Headaches
  • Heart disease
  • Sleeping problems
  • Weight gain
  • Memory or cognitive impairment

Patients in chronic pain are also likely to decrease their activity levels to avoid pain flare ups. As patients decrease their activity levels, they become at increased risk for several other diseases, including:

  • Elevated blood pressure (Hypertension)
  • Weight gain
  • Heart disease
  • Strokes
  • Diabetes
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness

If you or somebody you know is dealing with chronic pain, contact us at Remedy Pain Solutions to discuss the various treatment options we offer. From more traditional pain-relieving measures such as steroid injections and nerve blocks to more modern regenerative therapies and IV infusion therapies, Remedy Pain Solutions is well-equipped to treat whatever type of pain you may be dealing with. With appointments available at both our Marina Del Rey and Manhattan Beach locations, our physicians are happy to discuss how we can help you return to a pain-free and healthy life.

Contact Us 310-482-6906