Pain Types Chronic

Pain is a useful sensation developed by the body to keep you from hurting yourself or stop you from hurting yourself more.

However, those who suffer from ongoing chronic pain know how difficult this problem can be to live with. Chronic pain comes in many varieties and types and can affect different people in different ways. Chronic pain is recurrent and can last for weeks, months and even years.

Chronic Pain Syndrome

Chronic pain is pain that continues to occur over a long period of time. Those who suffer from chronic pain are said to suffer from chronic pain syndrome. Chronic pain can be caused by a number of different afflictions. Some causes of chronic pain include:

  • continuing health problems, such as cancer
  • injuries, both those that have and have not healed.

In addition, some chronic pain has no recognizable cause.

Chronic pain sufferers sometimes lose their appetites or are unable to exercise. Chronic pain can also lead to depression and anxiety. In some cases, people with chronic pain are so overwhelmed that they are unable to work. Chronic pain can not only make the sufferer miserable, but it can also have a large impact on the sufferer’s family.

Types of Chronic Pain

People who have chronic pain might have:

  • chronic arthritis pain
  • chronic back pain
  • chronic cancer pain
  • chronic neurogenic pain, or pain due to nerve damage or damage to the nervous system
  • chronic pelvic pain.

Of course, there are many other types of chronic pain. Chronic pain sufferers are often older adults, though people of all ages can suffer from chronic pain.

Chronic Pain Explained

Chronic pain can be particularly difficult for those who have no identifiable cause for the pain. People often think that this type of pain is just in their heads, but this often is not the case. Although researchers cannot fully explain chronic pain, some experts think that some chronic pain sufferers have developed an increased awareness of pain. In other cases, injuries may cause pain signals to be distorted, creating additional pain.

Preventing Chronic Pain

While some chronic pain can’t be prevented, leading a healthy lifestyle can help. Following these tips can help to prevent or at least lessen a person’s chances for having chronic pain:

  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Get regular exercise
  • Lead a healthy lifestyle.

Chronic Pain Management

To manage your chronic pain, your physician may recommend one or more chronic pain management treatments:

  • acupuncture
  • biofeedback
  • cortisone injections into the pain site
  • medication (over-the-counter medication or prescription)
  • medication pumps that send medication directly into the fluid in your spine
  • nerve stimulators that use electrical charges to treat pain
  • physical therapy
  • regulated exercise.

In some cases, a doctor may recommend prescription antidepressants to help with any depression or anxiety that you may be experiencing in addition to or as a result of chronic pain.

Support Groups and Chronic Pain

Your physician may suggest counseling or joining a support group. While these groups cannot help or cure the pain itself, people often cope better with chronic pain when they discuss it openly and see that they are not alone in their experiences.

Support groups can also discuss alternative treatments, exercises and coping methods that are effective for many people.

Chronic Pain: Research and the Future

Recent studies indicate that prolotherapy, used in conjunction with other treatments, may help treat chronic lower back pain. Prolotherapy involves injecting sugar solutions into tendons and ligaments to help induce the growth of connective tissue. Medical professionals do not agree on the effects of this treatment, however. Further studies need to be conducted in this area.

In addition, research indicates that there may be a connection between chronic pain and acute pain, which is pain that last for a few seconds to up to about six months.

The theory is that the longer acute pain lasts, the more likely the patient will be to develop chronic pain. For example, a person who experiences acute back pain may be likely to develop chronic back pain at a later date unless the acute pain is treated quickly.

Resources

About Neuropathic Pain. American Chronic Pain Association. Retrieved September 5, 2007, from http://www.theacpa.org/nerve/about.asp.

Chang-Miller, April M.D. (2007). Prolotherapy: An Effective Treatment for Chronic Pain? Retrieved September 5, 2007, from the Mayo Clinic Web site: http://mayoclinic.com/health/prolotherapy/AN01330.

Mayo Clinic (2007). Chronic Pain: When No Physical Cause Can Be Found. Retrieved September 5, 2007, from the Mayo Clinic Web site: http://mayoclinic.com/health/chronic-pain/PN00034.

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. NINDS Chronic Pain Information Page. Retrieved September 5, 2007, from the NINDS Web site: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/chronic_pain/chronic_pain.htm.