Understanding chronic pain

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By definition, chronic pain is any kind of pain that goes on for more than 3 months. Acute pain is different in the sense that one will suffer from pain for more than 6 months and will only disappear once the underlying cause has been addressed. If the acute pain is left untreated for long, it ends up becoming chronic.

The pain is caused by a number of factors with diseases being the main ones. The main culprits are:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Ulcers
  • Cancer
  • Osteoarthritis

Symptoms of chronic pain

There are various symptoms of chronic pain. They include the following:

Persistent pain

One will experience pain which seems not go away. The pain ranges from dull to mild and shooting pain. The pain goes on for 12 weeks and above without ceasing in intensity. It can be described as electric, achy, burning or burning. If you experience any of the above, it is possible that you are suffering the chronic pain.

Discomfort

The pain creates a lot of discomfort to the sufferer

Soreness

The intense pain will lead to soreness in the affected area.

Tightness

One will experience a feeling of tightness in the muscles.

Stiffness

The parts affected become very stiff and in the case of the lower back pain, one may be unable to move properly.

The pain is not the only problem that is characteristic of the condition. There are other related problems which could be associated with it. For one, the patient is not able to sleep properly due to the intense pain.

Getting fatigued is a common symptom in the people with the chronic pain. If you realize that you are no longer able to walk for long without taking a rest, you should see your doctor for treatment.

Inactivity

The severe pain renders one inactive, meaning that you are not able to work in an active capacity. You will be taking several rests in between tasks.

Immune system weakens

The immune system is compromised such that one keeps getting down with various ailments such as fever.

Mood changes

Due to intense pain, one’s mood changes a lot. For instance, one may become depressed, fearful and hopelessness may set in. In other instances, one will become anxious, stressed out and irritable.

Disability

In the worst cases, one may become completely disabled. In such a situation, the legs become paralysed and one is incapacitated.

Finding solutions

The relief from the pain can be sought in many ways. Walking is one of the best ways to find relief from the pain. Inactivity aggravates the situation. When one walks, endorphins are released in the body. You should form a habit of walking for at least half an hour daily.  This will offer the much needed relief.

Acupuncture is a traditional treatment for pain whereby pins are used as natural painkillers as they block pain signals.

Lastly, ensure that you get adequate sleep. People who don’t get adequate sleep will tend to experience more pain. Keep a regular bedtime   schedule to optimize sleep.

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