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What Is Chronic Pain?

Chronic Pain Management

Chronic Pain Management

About 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, defined as pain that lasts longer than six months. Chronic pain can be mild or excruciating, episodic or continuous, merely inconvenient or totally incapacitating. With chronic pain, signals of pain remain active in the nervous system for months or even years. This can take both a physical and emotional toll on a person.

Chronic Pain Management
Chronic Pain Management

The most common sources of pain stem from headaches, joint pain, pain from injury, and backaches. Other kinds of chronic pain include tendinitis, sinus pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and pain affecting specific parts of the body, such as the shoulders, pelvis, and neck. Generalized muscle or nerve pain can also develop into a chronic condition.

What is the prognosis?

Many people with chronic pain can be helped if they understand all the causes of pain and the many and varied steps that can be taken to undo what chronic pain has done. Scientists believe that advances in neuroscience will lead to more and better treatments for chronic pain in the years to come.

What Are the Symptoms of Chronic Pain?

  • Mild to severe pain that does not go away

  • Pain that may be described as shooting, burning, aching, or electrical

  • Feeling of discomfort, soreness, tightness, or stiffness

Living With Chronic Pain

People with persistent pain often think of themselves as suffering from a specific ailment, whether it’s arthritis, back pain, migraines, or something else. But anyone who has experienced pain for several months or longer also happens to be among the millions of Americans with a condition known as chronic pain. Chronic pain is a complex condition that affects 42 million-50 million Americans, according to the American Pain Foundation. Despite decades of research, chronic pain remains poorly understood and notoriously hard to control. A survey by the American Academy of Pain Medicine found that even comprehensive treatment with painkilling prescription drugs helps, on average, only about 58% of people with chronic pain.

Chronic Pain Treatments

You may be able to control your pain at home by using pain relievers and practicing healthy habits.

  • Pain medicines or medicines to treat problems that are linked to chronic pain.

  • Treatments such as counseling, physical therapy, and complementary therapies.

  • Surgery, such as intrathecal drug delivery and spinal cord stimulation.

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