Everyone experiences pain at some point in their life. Pain is usually your body warning you that something is wrong, either in the form of illness or injury. When the injury has healed, the pain tends to go away. Unfortunately, some people develop a form of pain that continues for months at a time. If you experience pain that lasts for three to six months (more), you are experiencing chronic pain. Chronic pain quickly takes its toll on your physical and mental health.
Millions of people in the United States and Oxford, MS, suffer from chronic pain every day. One of the hardest parts of chronic pain is the fact that your pain is imperceptible to most people, so your close loved ones have difficulty seeing that you are in pain. Chronic pain, unfortunately, tends to bring about not just physical pain, but also emotional and psychological pain. Cases of chronic pain differ greatly between people, but generally fall into a few categories:
This pain usually indicates a disease or a physical injury within the body. It can be an important signal of wounds, infections, burns, or other injuries, and helps the body protect itself. Acute pain can last anywhere up to 12 weeks (depending on the cause of the pain). Once the cause has been treated, the pain will usually go away on its own. It is important to remember that acute pain is a symptom, but chronic pain is a disease in its own right.
There are two essential categories pain can be divided into nociceptive and neuropathic pain. Nociceptive pain is when signals are sent to the brain after an injury. Neuropathic pain is a result of damage to the nervous system itself. Chronic pain may exist even long after the injury has healed. The nervous system will incorrectly signal to the brain that there is a brain, when there is actually no injury present anymore. Chronic pain can last months or even years.
Quite a few events or conditions can cause nerve damage. Neuropathic pain directly affects how pain signals are sent to the brain. If un-repaired, nerve damage can lead to long-time neuropathic chronic pain.
Most nerve conditions are localized to a specific part of the body. Infections and surgeries both can create localized nerve damage that in turn will create long-term/chronic pain. The origins of localized neuropathic pain can be hard to trace, so make sure to inform your doctor if you had an infection or surgery in the area your chronic pain is stemming from.
Around 25% of people suffering from chronic pain also have a condition called chronic pain syndrome (CPS). This is characterized by the addition of symptoms beyond just pain, such as depression, and anxiety. CPS can be difficult to find treatment for, but relief from symptoms is still possible with the right chronic pain treatments in Oxford, MS. Physical therapy, counseling, or medications can help relieve symptoms of chronic pain and the depression it sometimes brings.
Symptoms of Chronic Pain Syndrome
Joint pain Burning Pain
Muscle ache Fatigue
Trouble sleeping Fatigue
Loss of flexibility Loss of stamina
Conditions marked by widespread and long-lasting pain are typically linked to Chronic Pain Syndrome. These conditions may include:
Rheumatoid Arthritis An autoimmune disease that brings powerful inflammation at the joints.
Osteoarthritis A type of arthritis that usually comes from wear and tears on the body.
Fibromyalgia A neurological condition that creates pain and tenderness in trigger points across the body
Inflammatory Bowel Disease Characterized by chronic inflammation of the digestive tract that produces intestinal cramping.
Even after some of these conditions improve through treatment, some people may still have chronic pain. This is usually a miscommunication between the nervous system and the brain.