Chronic pain can linger for months or years and can occur in any part of your body. With chronic pain, your body continues to transmit pain signals to your brain, even after an injury heals. Some chronic pain can be normal, especially if you have recently been injured, are unwell, or had surgery. You should consult Dr. William L Yancey if the pain is severe, doesn’t stop, or prevents you from doing your daily activities.
The distinction between chronic pain and other pain
Chronic pain is distinct from another form of pain known as acute pain. Acute pain occurs when a minor cut injures your skin or a fractured bone. It doesn’t stay long and fades after your body heals from whatever caused the discomfort. Conversely, chronic pain persists long after you have recovered from an accident or sickness. Sometimes, it can even happen for no apparent cause.
Causes of chronic pain
Chronic pain is typically the result of an initial injury, such as a sprained back or a torn muscle. Chronic pain is believed to occur when nerves are injured. The nerve injury intensifies and prolongs the pain. Addressing the underlying damage may not alleviate chronic pain in many circumstances.
However, in certain circumstances, people endure chronic pain without being injured. The precise causes of chronic pain without damage are unknown. Pain can occasionally be caused by an underlying health issue, such as:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome is characterized by extreme, prolonged weariness often accompanied by pain.
- Endometriosis is a painful condition when the uterine lining grows outside the uterus.
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term that describes conditions that cause painful, chronic inflammation in your digestive tract.
- Fibromyalgia is an illness characterized by widespread pain in your bones and muscles.
- Interstitial cystitis is a chronic illness marked by bladder pressure and pain.
- Vulvodynia is chronic discomfort around the opening of your vagina (vulva) for which there is no identifiable cause and lasts at least three months.
- Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ) is a disorder that causes painful clicking, popping, or locking of your jaw.
Treating chronic pain
The primary objective of therapy is to alleviate pain and increase mobility. This enables you to resume your regular activities without pain. The degree and frequency of chronic pain vary from person to person. As a result, doctors develop pain treatment programs tailored to each individual.
Furthermore, your symptoms and any underlying medical concerns will determine your pain management strategy. You may utilize medical therapies, lifestyle solutions, or a combination of these strategies to address your chronic pain.
Common medications for chronic pain
There are several drugs available to assist in relieving chronic pain. They include the following:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers, like acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
- Adjuvant analgesics, like antidepressants and anticonvulsants.
- Opioid pain relievers, including codeine, morphine, and hydrocodone.
Chronic discomfort lasts months or years and may interfere with your ability to work, enjoy activities and take care of yourself or others. Talk to a healthcare professional or pain specialist if you suffer from chronic pain. There are strategies to address your pain to help you have a more comfortable life. Call William Yancey, MD, to schedule your appointment today to determine which chronic pain treatments suit you.