Though everyone suffers from aches and pains, the average person is not a chronic pain sufferer.
Chronic pain is unique in that it is recurring. Chronic pain sufferers feel consistent pain across weeks, months, and possibly even years or decades. Though a specific injury is often the cause of lengthy chronic pain, genetics and the aging process can also spur chronic pain.
In terms of quantification, chronic pain is that which lasts between 3-6 months or longer. Chronic pain should not be taken lightly as it has the potential to prove debilitating. Fail to address your chronic pain and you will find it affects your ability to work, do chores around the house, exercise, and life live to the fullest. Help is available through our medical professionals.
Chronic pain stems from messages transmitted by the body’s central nervous system. As an example, if you hurt your knee when playing tennis, the injury will trigger pain sensors at that body site. Those sensors transmit a message as an electrical signal that moves to the nerves until it reaches the brain.
The brain processes the signal and communicates the fact that the body is hurt. This signal halts after the cause of the pain is addressed.
The human body is capable of repairing the wound on the knee or other body site. However, chronic pain is unique in that the nerve signal continues to fire after the healing process occurs.
Arthritis is the result of the breakdown of cartilage tissue in a joint. An infection or injury can quicken the natural breakdown. An autoimmune disorder can also cause a form of arthritis known as rheumatoid arthritis.
Chronic pain typically results from an injury though chronic pain can manifest without a clear cause. In some patients, a pre-existing health condition is the cause of chronic pain.
Additional causes of chronic pain include infections, arthritis, nerve damage, migraines, and regular headaches.
Fibromyalgia, a condition in which a patient feels significant muscle pain across the entirety or majority of the body is also possible.
Chronic pain sufferers often feel soreness, dull aches, stiffness, throbbing, shooting sensations, and burning. Some such patients even report feeling a sensation of squeezing along their muscles or joints. In other cases, patients feel extremely fatigued, have no appetite, cannot sleep, have insufficient energy, or experience general weakness.
Some chronic pain patients also report they experience rapid mood changes. If chronic pain persists or becomes significant, it has the potential to compromise mental health to the point that it makes daily living challenging.
Chronic pain sufferers have the potential to feel depressed, angry, frustrated, and nervous for much or all the day. The bottom line is individuals plagued by persistent pain are that much more likely to feel depressed.
There is no reason to endure chronic pain in silence. If you feel consistent pain and that pain stagnates or worsens, be proactive.
Reach out to our medical professionals for guidance. We will review your chronic pain and suggest one or several treatment modalities.
Examples of the most common treatment modalities for chronic pain include physical therapy, medicine, relaxation therapy, and acupuncture. However, our doctors might determine lifestyle alterations such as smoking cessation and increasing your quality or quantity of sleep are worth trying before resorting to more traditional treatment modalities.