What Is Chronic Pain?Chronic pain is defined by the National Institutes of Health as pain that persists for three months or more, although this time-frame may vary depending on the condition in question.
The nature of chronic pain may range from mild to severe. It may be constant, occur in regular episodes, or occur in response to specific triggers.
Chronic pain may cause some irritation or complete disability.
Must Watch Video – What is Chronic Pain?
Pain related to the spine is one of the most common types of chronic pain. Others include headaches, pelvic pain, joint pain, and muscle pain. Neuropathy, or nerve damage, may also lead to a chronic pain condition.
Causes Of Chronic PainThere is a wide range of adverse events, disorders, and conditions that may be at the root of chronic pain. Some of these include:
- Accidental injury
- Trauma (e.g. resulting from motor vehicle collision or similar situation)
- Soft tissue conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome
- Complications arising from spinal surgery (or “failed back syndrome“)
In addition, chronic pain may have an onset without an explanation. These incidences may be explained by underlying neurological or biological disorders, such as excessive nerve inflammation. In some rare cases, not even these can be found to be the cause of chronic pain. This is known as idiopathic pain.
Some researchers conclude that psychological disorders, including stress and emotional distress, may influence the severity of chronic pain. Many patients find these are a “trigger” for the onset of their pain.
Chronic pain is often diagnosed based on its effect on normal function, normal movement, or quality of life. These are assessed by medical examination, patient interviews, and rating scales (for both self-reported pain and variables such as life quality).