Pain that persists for greater than 12 weeks is defined as chronic pain.
Appearing in a variety of forms, chronic pain can be experienced as either a sharp or dull pain, sometimes causing a burning or aching sensation in the affected areas. The occurrence of the pain can be unpredictable, seemingly coming and going without reason. Nearly every part of your body can be affected, and nearly 20% of people throughout the world suffer from moderate to severe chronic pain.
Pain That Just Won’t Quit!
Pain from an injury usually subsides over time. In the event that pain has persisted for more than a month or two, it may be an indicator of the onset of chronic pain. The underlying cause of chronic pain is often due to the fact that some aspect of an injury has not healed properly. Arthritis is an example in which an underlying condition does not heal, and pain persists long term due to the accompanying inflammation. One of the more perplexing instances of chronic pain for the patient can be neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain can occur without an obvious cause, and may affect the entire nervous system, often in a permanent way. Due to the puzzling and seemingly permanent nature of chronic pain, sufferers often find themselves at an increased risk of emotional problems, or depression. While it may feel like hope is lost, treatments are available today to help address chronic pain.
3 Most Common Cause of Chronic Pain
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
Appearing in two distinct classes, CRPS-1 and CRPS-2, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is notable for chronic pain centered in one part of the body. CRPS-1 is pain which is caused by a nerve condition not brought about by a confirmed injury or trauma. CRPS-2 is more common, and is linked to a specific injury. In either case, CRPS is symptomized by prolonged or excessive pain and changes in skin color, temperature, potentially with swelling in the affected area.
Neuropathic Pain Syndrome
Neuropathic Pain Syndrome differs from other types of pain in that it is not caused by a distinct injury or inflammation. A disorder in which the nervous system sends misdirected pain signals to parts of the body even when there is no direct cause of pain, Neuropathic Pain Syndrome can be overwhelming. Common types include diabetic neuropathy, post herpetic neuralgia, painful scars, phantom limb pain and multiple sclerosis.
Musculoskeletal Pain is characterized as pain which affects muscles, ligaments, tendons or bones. Often brought about by an injury or overuse, symptoms often appear as a full body ache. Sufferers may report that it feels as though they have pulled muscles which may twitch or come along with a burning sensation. Common symptoms may include pain, fatigue and disturbed sleep.