If you have chronic pain, even the most mundane tasks can become a hassle. In addition to the discomfort, you have to deal with the knowledge that even if you get the pain to subside, it’s only a matter of time before it returns.
What Is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain exists when a person’s injured body part hurts for extended periods of time. It could be weeks, months, or years. It could also be a pain that subsides and reoccurs despite treatment and the passage of time.
Medical providers will officially diagnose it as chronic pain if it lasts for longer than six months. Some people only experience mild pain, while others feel an excruciating or debilitating pain that interferes with their activities of daily living.
Chronic Pain Causes
Often, chronic pain is caused by a particular injury or trauma, such as a:
- Hard blow
- Car accident
However, there are certain underlying health conditions that may also result in this type of discomfort, such as:
Chronic Pain Symptoms
A person suffering from chronic pain feels a myriad of symptoms, such as:
- Pain that won’t subside
- Burning sensation
In addition to pain and discomfort in a specific body part, chronic pain affects other areas of a person’s life. As a result, the patient often experiences the following symptoms:
- Poor sleep patterns
- Loss of interest in activities the person used to enjoy
- Becoming prone to frequent additional illnesses
Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Pain
From the outset, it’s difficult to diagnose chronic pain, since pain could be the result of so many different conditions. In addition, how pain feels is very subjective. In order to help them determine a person’s discomfort, physicians often try to gauge the severity of the pain by asking the patient to rate the level of pain on a scale from 1 to 10.
Your doctor may also ask you to keep a pain journal to see if there are certain triggers you haven’t previously noticed, or if the pain occurs most frequently during specific times of the day.
Other methods used to diagnose chronic pain include:
- Testing a person’s range of motion on different joints
- Nerve Conduction Velocity Test
- Psychological Evaluations (due to the fact that there’s a link between depression and chronic pain)
Treatment depends on the cause of pain. Medications, acupuncture, and electrical stimulation has provided relief to some patients. However, people for whom conservative treatment hasn’t provided relief, surgery may be an option if the source of the chronic pain was a trauma that resulted in an injury that didn’t heal properly.
Risk Factors for Chronic Pain
The most common risk factor is experiencing trauma. However, the following are also common risk factors for developing chronic pain:
Request an Appointment at The Orthopedic Clinic Today
At the Orthopedic Clinic, we want you to live your life in full motion. If you’re suffering from chronic pain, let us help you get back to doing the things you love.
Call us at (386) 255-4596 to schedule an appointment.