What Is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain is what it sounds like – pain that persists longer than 6 months, sometimes ongoing for years. This happens when the receptor nerve cells send messages to the spinal cord, which in turn carries the message to the brain. It’s thought that chronic pain develops after nerves become damaged, which causes the pain to be more intense and long lasting.
This can happen to anybody – sometimes triggered by an injury, simple wear-and-tear or some form of underlying condition. The impact that chronic pain can have on a person is serious – sometimes being penned as the terrible triad: of course, the pain, but it can also lead to the inability to sleep, and internalizing symptoms such as depression and anxiety.
What Causes Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain really is a spectrum, and can range from a mild headache all the way to excruciating pain that can make it tough to breathe. Because of this, the conditions that cause it can be anything from normal wear and tear through to severe injuries and ailments. Some of the most common are:
- Normal Aging
What Are The Symptoms of Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain can manifest in different ways, pending the cause – but some of the most common symptoms are:
- joint pain
- muscle aches
- burning pain
- sleep problems
- loss of stamina and flexibility, due to decreased activity
- mood problems, including depression, anxiety, and irritability
What Are My Treatment Options for Chronic Pain?
It’s important to realize that chronic pain very likely will not go away on its own. It’s hard to determine just how long it could last, and if it will get worse, so it’s critical to visit a licensed professional to help you manage your symptoms, and mitigate the pain. This is necessary for you to regain your life, and live pain-free, when you are dealing with chronic pain.
Some of the ways your doctor may treat your pain are:
- Hot & Cold Treatments – Pending the cause of your chronic pain, your doctor will use either hot or cold therapy treatments. Heat is traditionally used in music pain and to relieve stiff, sore joints. Cold, however, is typically used to reduce inflammation and can slow down those nerve receptor messages we’ve spoken about.
- Rehab therapy – Your doctor might develop a custom exercise plan, designed to encourage normal, pain-free movement to resume.
- Chiropractic care – Our onsite chiropractors work to correct any spinal abnormalities that may be leading to your pain.
- Cupping – this natural treatment focuses on placing medical cups on the painful area, which suction the skin. This breaks the tiny blood vessels under the skin, which triggers your body to respond to an injury, stimulating the natural healing process.
Frequently Asked Questions about Chronic Pain
1. What is chronic pain?
Chronic pain is severe pain that is prolonged, typically lasting longer than 6 months.
2. Is chronic pain a disability?
At this time, in 2022, chronic pain is not listed in Social Security’s blue book, the listing of impairments that determine whether you automatically qualify for disability benefits.
3. What is the best pain medication for chronic pain?
There are multiple forms of treatment for chronic pain – but it should not be self-treated. This is because chronic pain can have many different causes, and it’s critical to see a licensed professional to ensure the root of the problem is treated as well. Schedule a free assessment here.