Pain is an uncomfortable sensation, induced by the nervous system. Health professionals have categorized pain into the following 3 types.
- Short-term pain or acute pain
- Long-term or persistent or chronic pain
- Recurrent or intermittent pain
A chronic pain is defined as the pain that persists even after healing has occurred and can result from long-term sickness, or has no evident reason. Chronic pain syndrome can occur in almost any part of the body and may persist for weeks, months, or years and may not respond to treatment. It can interfere with the routine activities and impact the overall quality of life, leading to low self-esteem, depression, and anger in patients.
Some of the most ordinary chronic pain disorders include:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Post-surgical pain
- Post-trauma pain
- Cancer pain
- Neurogenic pain (caused by nerve damage)
- Psychogenic pain (not caused by illness, trauma, or nerve damage)
An Overview of Chronic Pain
The American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM), has reported that chronic pain is a complicated condition affecting over 1.5 billion people throughout the world.
It’s the most widespread reason for long-term disability in the US, involving approximately 100 million Americans.
Despite decades of investigation, chronic pain continues to be poorly comprehended and notoriously difficult to control.
According to a survey conducted by the AAPM, even extensive treatment with painkiller drugs aid, on average, just about 58% of individuals with chronic pain.
What Is the Cause of Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain can be caused by many different factors including:
- Long-term diseases like cancer
- Ongoing health conditions like ear infections
- Initial injuries that don’t heal correctly like severe muscle strain
- Conditions accompanying normal aging
- Nerve damage
Related Article: Common Chronic Illnesses: Symptoms and Scope of Treatments
What Diseases Cause Chronic Pain?
Long-term diseases that may produce chronic pain include:
- Degenerative disease (e.g., osteoarthritis, osteoporosis)
- Inflammatory disease (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis)
- Multiple sclerosis
What Is the Difference Between Acute and Chronic Pain?
Acute Pain – Pain that arises due to illness or trauma and dies-out or ceases on its own or with medical care is called acute pain. Acute pain executes an important function of sending out indications to the body of a problem or trauma.
Chronic Pain – Pain that prevails even after the healing process has completed, emerges from long-term diseases, or has no evident reason is called chronic pain. Chronic pain can be rather disabling, often causing severe problems in the patient’s life.
What Is the Best Treatment for Chronic Pain?
The goal of treatment for chronic pain is to decrease pain and enhance function so that one can resume routine activities. While there are numerous alternatives for the treatment of pain, it’s important to understand that chronic pain normally cannot be treated, but can be managed. Here are some of the most popular treatments to manage chronic pain:
- Pain medication is the most common approach for pain treatments.
- Lifestyle remedies for chronic pain like physical therapy and counseling help a lot.
- Medical procedures like surgery, acupuncture, electrical stimulation, and nerve blocks are also some effective ways.
- Self-management approach to coping with chronic pain, under the guidance of healthcare experts, shows great hope as a treatment option.
Newport Family Medicine in Newport Beach, CA, is a full-service family practice. We offer affordable and superior healthcare, in the most caring and comfortable environment. Contact us at (949) 299-0326 to learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment with us.
Newport Family Medicine, located in Newport Beach, CA, offers full-service family practice from pregnancy through childhood and adulthood to maturity. We provide comprehensive health care for people of all age groups.