Chronic pain may or may not have an obvious cause, such as arthritis. Injuries and diseases can also cause changes to your body that leave you more sensitive to pain. These changes linger even after you’ve healed from the original injury or disease. Something like a sprain, a broken bone, or a brief infection can leave you with chronic pain.
Some people also have chronic pain that’s not tied to an injury or physical illness. Healthcare providers call this response psychogenic pain or psychosomatic pain. It’s caused by psychological factors such as stress, anxiety, and depression. Scientists believe this connection comes from low levels of endorphins in the blood. Endorphins are natural chemicals that trigger positive feelings.
It’s possible to have several causes of pain overlap. You could have two different diseases, for example. Or you could have something like migraines and psychogenic pain together. Pain caused by a known underlying health condition such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis or endometriosis is known as chronic secondary pain. However, pain with no identified cause that has persisted for at least three months is known as chronic primary pain.
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Some of the most common symptoms of chronic pain are continuous muscle pain accompanied by cramping, soreness, swelling, muscle spasms, headaches ranging from mild pain to excruciating migraines, joint pain, lingering back pain which may be sharp or aching, weakness, numbness, or tingling sensations, sleeping difficulties, lack of energy, depression, persistent or recurring pain, burning, tingling, shocking, or shooting pain, stiffness and limited mobility.
Few reasons that may develop chronic pain among patients include arthritis, nerve damage, migraines or severe headaches, fibromyalgia, back problems, injuries, surgeries, overweight, poor posture, improper lifting of heavy objects inflammatory health conditions.
Your Steady Care doctor will review your medical history. Describing your pain will help your doctor find the right treatment for you. Be specific about where the pain is, how bad it is, and how often it occurs. What makes your pain better or worse. He or she will also review other health problems you may have (such as breathing problems or heart conditions). Issues with pulmonary or cardiovascular weakness could keep you from doing some types of therapy. Your doctor may also ask if you have had any problems with sleep, mood, or anxiety.
Your doctor will then draw up a care and support plan to help you begin to manage your pain based on how badly it is affecting your day-to-day life.
For most people, it’s not likely that long-term drug treatments for chronic primary pain, other than antidepressants, provide an adequate balance between any benefits they might provide and the risks associated with them. Pharmacology is not always the answer. We explore physical and psychological therapies that we know can benefit people in pain. We attempt to provide a wide range of treatment options because each patient with chronic pain experiences pain differently.
You can also relieve chronic pain at home using the following techniques
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