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Understanding Chronic Pain

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What do you think of when you hear the term “chronic pain?”

While many Americans have undoubtedly heard this phrase before, the fact is that few might be able to accurately define the condition.

What is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is defined as:

“ongoing or recurrent pain, lasting beyond the usual course of acute illness or injury or more than 3 to 6 months, and which adversely affects the individual’s well-being.”

Affecting around 100 million Americans, chronic pain varies in intensity and frequency. Some experience chronic pain constantly while others only feel it in episodes.

In short, if you feel any kind of noticeable way for 6 months, you are suffering from chronic pain.

What Causes Chronic Pain?

Pain can originate from a wide variety of sources. When it comes to chronic pain, the main sources are:

  • Joint pain
  • Headaches
  • Back pain
  • Injury related pain

Aside from the obvious physical toil caused by chronic pain, there is also a mentally taxing element that shouldn’t be ignored. Six months is a long time to experience any degree of consistent pain. It is common for stress, anxiety, depression, and general fatigue to accompany chronic pain, further worsening its painful side effects.

How is Chronic Pain Treated?

Treating chronic pain largely depends on the source. The best plan for treatment generally involves being active in your care plan.

Take time to meet with a pain specialist so they can understand both the physical and psychological parts of your chronic pain.

What Are the Symptoms of Chronic Pain?

If you have ever worried that you are experiencing chronic pain, you can start by asking if you are experiencing these symptoms:

  • Constantly feeling any level of pain, mild to severe
  • Aching, shooting, or burning types of pain
  • Extended feelings of soreness, stiffness, or tightness

On top of the listed physical symptoms, other common problems caused by chronic pain include fatigue, mood changes, stress, anxiety, depression, irritability, or restless nights of sleep.

Take Your Life Back from Pain

If you are worried that you are experiencing chronic pain, it is in your best interests to contact a pain management specialist immediately. The Pain Management Center at Perry County Memorial Hospital knows exactly what it takes to prevent chronic pain from living a comfortable life.

Contact us today to learn more.