Part 1 of 5: Overview
What Is Chronic Pain?
Everyone experiences occasional aches and pains. In fact, sudden pain is an important reaction of the nervous system that helps alert you to possible injury. When an injury occurs, pain signals travel from the injured area up the spinal cord and to the brain.
Pain will usually become less severe as the injury heals. However, chronic pain is different from typical pain. With chronic pain, the body continues to send pain signals to the brain, even after an injury heals. This can last several weeks to years. Chronic pain can limit your mobility and reduce your flexibility, strength, and endurance. This may make it challenging to get through daily tasks and activities.
Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts at least 12 weeks. The pain may feel sharp or dull, causing a burning or aching sensation in the affected areas. It may be steady or intermittent, coming and going without any apparent reason. Chronic pain can occur in nearly any part of the body. The pain can feel different in the various affected areas.
Some of the most common types of chronic pain include:
According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, approximately 1.5 billion people around the world have chronic pain. It’s the most common cause of long-term disability in the United States, affecting about 100 million Americans.
Part 2 of 5: Causes
What Causes Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain is usually caused by an initial injury, such as a back sprain or pulled muscle. It’s believed that chronic pain develops after nerves become damaged. The nerve damage makes pain more intense and long lasting. In these cases, treating the underlying injury may not resolve the chronic pain.
In some cases, however, people experience chronic pain without any prior injury. The exact causes of chronic pain without injury aren’t well understood. The pain may sometimes be caused by an underlying health condition, such as:
Part 3 of 5: Risk Factors
Who Is at Risk for Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain can affect people of all ages, but it’s most common in older adults. Besides age, other factors that can increase your risk of developing chronic pain include:
Part 4 of 5: Treatment
How Is Chronic Pain Treated?
The main goal of treatment is to reduce pain and boost mobility. This helps you return to your daily activities without discomfort.
The severity and frequency of chronic pain can differ among individuals. So doctors create pain-management plans that are specific to each person. Your pain-management plan will depend on your symptoms and any underlying health conditions. Medical treatments, lifestyle remedies, or a combination of these methods may be used to treat your chronic pain.
Medications for Chronic Pain
There are several types of medications that can help treat chronic pain:
Medical Procedures for Chronic Pain
Certain medical procedures can also provide relief from chronic pain:
Lifestyle Remedies for Chronic Pain
Additionally, various lifestyle remedies are available to help ease chronic pain:
Part 5 of 5: Coping
Dealing with Chronic Pain
There isn’t a cure for chronic pain, but the condition can be managed successfully. It’s important to stick to your pain-management plan to help relieve symptoms.
Since physical pain is related to emotional pain, chronic pain can increase your stress levels. Building emotional skills can help you cope with any stress related to your condition. Here are some steps you can take to reduce stress:
©24hrspharma - 2018