Chronic pain lasts for a long period that exceeds 6 months. Chronic pain can worsen and get complicated by central nervous symptoms like depression in a condition called chronic pain syndrome. It might be difficult to find out the exact cause and therefore you will require a series of tests and imaging to find the cause. When the doctor takes your medical history, it will guide him or her to come up with a differential diagnosis which then will be confirmed through tests.

When you visit the doctor with a complaint of chronic pain the doctor will want to know when the pain started, which location of the body hurts, and the characteristics of the pain like whether it is sharp, dull, or stabbing. The doctor also asks about the severity of the pain on a scale of 1 to 10 and whether the pain radiates to other parts of the body. An anesthesiologist in Houston can help treat your chronic pain.

What Causes Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is compared to a disability that cannot be seen because it is only the patient who feels it but other people do not. Herniated disks that compress the nerves in the spinal cord can cause chronic pain. Some fractures can occur in the spinal cord and stay for a long time before being diagnosed and therefore cause prolonged pain. Compression of the spinal cord in a condition called spinal stenosis can also cause chronic pain.

Stress, fatigue, and hormonal changes can cause headaches that last for a long time. Other causes of chronic pain are those which are caused by inflammation in the joints like in arthritis and tendinitis. Conditions that damage the nerves like Diabetes, shingles, and sciatica are also common causes of chronic pain. Cancer is also a common cause of chronic pain. Other causes are diseases like endometriosis and pain that persists after surgery.

Chronic pain can get complicated by other symptoms like depression, incontinence, fatigue, insomnia, problems with social life like loss of employment and substance abuse and marital problems. When this occurs, this condition is referred to as chronic pain syndrome (CPS).  Diagnosis of chronic pain relies on history, physical exam, lab tests, and imaging like CT scan and x-ray.

There are many forms of treatment for chronic pain like counseling and joining support groups, cognitive therapy, use of painkillers, spinal cord stimulation, physiotherapy, and surgery. The choice of the method of treatment will depend on what is causing pain and the severity of the condition. It is important to see a doctor if the cause of your pain is trauma or injury, when the pain limits you from normal life, and when it occurs after surgery.

How can You Modify Your Lifestyle to Cope with Chronic Pain?

It is advisable to stay fit while experiencing chronic pain but avoid strenuous exercise that causes the pain to become worse. Having a support system from your family or friends will help you cope with chronic pain. You should also take care of your general health by eating healthy and drinking a lot of water.

In case the cause of your chronic pain is a terminal disease, it is advisable to join a support group where you interact with people who relate to your problem and encourage you. Relaxation and meditation are useful in coping with chronic pain. You can also get a massage.

Conclusion

Chronic pain is pain that persists for more than 6 months and can be caused by joint diseases, nerve damage, chronic headaches, or even cancer. Treatment is available and you should not have to live with pain your entire life.

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Chronic pain lasts for a long period that exceeds 6 months. Chronic pain can worsen and get complicated by central nervous symptoms like depression in a condition called chronic pain syndrome. It might be difficult to find out the exact cause and therefore you will require a series of...