What Qualifies as Chronic Pain?

Health Education
3 mins
What Qualifies as Chronic Pain?

Experiencing chronic pain can be challenging for anyone. It affects the body, increases stress levels, and creates a plethora of emotional effects. So, what is chronic pain? Here, we have underscored the main sign and symptoms. Let’s take a deeper look.

Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a complex and often debilitating condition that affects millions of people. Unlike acute pain, chronic pain continues for more than 12 weeks to 6 months, regardless of the cause. This is because the body’s pain signals can remain active in the nervous system for extended periods. 

Chronic pain is caused by various conditions, including injury, disease, nerve damage, or psychological factors. Some conditions to note are fibromyalgia, cancer, arthritis, and migraines. Moreover, the physical and emotional effects can include:

  • Anger
  • Limited mobility
  • Tense muscles
  • Depression
  • Fear
  • Change in appetite
  • Anxiety

Diagnosing chronic pain can be challenging. This is because there is no single test or procedure with the ability to interpret the condition accurately. Your medical history, physical exam, and diagnostic tests are used to diagnose this condition. 

The right healthcare provider will assist you in finding safe and effective pain relief while managing your symptoms. They will also work to find the underlying cause of the pain. Some treatments include:

  • Pain management strategies
  • Physical therapy
  • Pain medication
  • Psychological support
  • Surgery

There are also two main categories to classify chronic pain: neuropathic pain and nociceptive pain. Let’s delve into the details.

Neuropathic Pain

Neuropathic pain is caused by nervous system damage. It can feel like burning, shooting, or electric-like sensations throughout the body. It is associated with spinal cord injuries, diabetic neuropathy, or post-herpetic neuralgia, which is a difficulty of shingles.

Nociceptive Pain

Tissue damage or injury can cause this type of pain. It can feel like a dull, aching sensation, less severe than some cases of neuropathic pain. This pain is related to conditions such as arthritis, musculoskeletal injuries, or migraines.

Chronic Back Pain and Chronic Pain Syndrome

There are two specific and common types of chronic pain: chronic back pain and chronic pain syndrome. 

Chronic Back Pain

Chronic back pain significantly impacts a person’s ability to move through everyday life. It affects millions of people and profoundly influences their quality of life. Various factors, including age, disease, or injury, can cause it. Certain conditions that cause chronic back pain are spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, and herniated discs. 

This pain has the potential to be either neuropathic or nociceptive, and the severity depends on the underlying cause. 

Chronic Pain Syndrome

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) affects the nervous system and causes chronic pain, swelling, and more. It is rare, and few understand this condition, meaning it can be easily misdiagnosed. For some, it is triggered by injuries or surgeries, but often the cause goes unknown. 

Similar to neuropathic pain, it is described as burning or shooting sensations. It is often severe enough to affect the quality of life, ability to work, and more. Symptoms of chronic pain syndrome include swelling, muscle wasting, and skin changes.

Need a Trustworthy Medical Team?

This complex condition significantly affects a person’s day-to-day. Affecting millions worldwide, it is vital to have a medical team that takes the diagnosis and treatment seriously. For some, effectively managing the condition can be life or death, impacting whether or not they can go to work and live their day-to-day lives. 

Here at BASS Medical Group, we can assist you in taking a multidisciplinary approach to managing your condition. Our team of dedicated medical professionals are here to help you mitigate your suffering and thrive. 

Contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.