Chronic pain, depending on the cause, can last up to six months or even longer. Individuals with chronic pain can have physical effects that generate added stress on the body. This includes:
- Tense muscles
- Limited moveability
- Lack of energy
- Appetite change
Some examples of chronic pain are:
- Arthritis pain
- Cancer pain
- Low back pain
- Neurogenic pain comes from nerve damage to the brain or other areas of the body
- Psychogenic pain comes from processing errors of pain signals in the brain.
Chronic pain is a common complaint nowadays, especially from older individuals. And it is possible for an individual to have more than one chronic pain condition at a time. Some conditions that can cause chronic pain include:
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
This causes extreme fatigue and pain that comes out of nowhere.
This is a painful condition in females, where the cells that line the inside of the uterus, instead grow outside.
This causes widespread pain throughout the body.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
This is a long-term disorder that can cause inflammation in the digestive tract.
This causes mild to severe pain in the bladder.
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction
This causes severe pain and stiffness in the jaw.
Effects: Physical and Mental
Long-term pain can severely affect work, everyday activities, and social life. It’s common for individuals to have problems with sleep, appetite, concentration, and mobility. These individuals are more likely to be depressed, anxious, and irritable. Chronic pain increases the risk of anxiety and mood disorders.
Chronic pain syndrome is both physical and mental
Around twenty-five percent of individuals with chronic pain will continue with a condition known as chronic pain syndrome. Emotional effects that accompany chronic pain often include depression, anger, anxiety, and a fear of re-injury. This type of fear can limit an individual’s ability to return to regular work and activities.
Experts believe that there is a problem with the nerve/s system and glands used to handle stress. This makes them feel pain differently. Other experts believe that chronic pain syndrome is a learned response. This is because when in pain, individuals have a tendency to repeat bad behaviors even after the pain is gone or has reduced.
Research suggests that psychological problems on their own are not behind chronic pain syndrome. It appears to be linked to abnormalities between specific glands including the hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal glands, and the nervous system. The abnormalities control reactions to stress, injury, and trauma. This could explain why people experience pain differently. Understanding chronic pain means understanding the anatomy of the nervous system, which is highly complex. Through the nerves, the nervous system transmits messages to and from the brain.
It can affect people of all ages and sexes, but it’s most common in women. Interference in an individuals’ daily life can take a tremendous toll. Chronic pain syndrome can be challenging to treat, but it is possible.
Optimally, this will be a combination of treatments like psychological counseling for anxiety, depression, etc. Physical therapy combined with chiropractic treatments to realign the spine and work out tight and tense muscles, joints, ligaments and keep them loose, along with relaxation techniques will help relieve the pain and the other symptoms.
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