- Chronic pain is pain that lasts for several months. Sometimes it’s constant, other times it may come and go.
- Not only is chronic pain uncomfortable but it can interfere with your daily life and affect your mental health.
- Luckily there are treatment and coping strategies available to help you manage chronic pain.
Pain is a natural response caused by your brain after it receives messages from your nerves that you’re injured or something is wrong in your body. Usually, the pain goes away once the body is restored to its normal healthy state, however, some people continue to feel pain even after the initial cause is resolved. When pain lasts for months, this is known as chronic pain and it’s a lot more common than you may think.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 50 million adults in the U.S. are living with chronic pain. Not only can it be physically painful, but it can also affect your mental health too, leading to complications like anxiety and depression. While chronic pain can be challenging to treat, it’s not impossible and there are ways to cope. Here’s what you need to know about chronic pain, including the common signs, causes, and treatment options.
Chronic Pain vs. Acute Pain: What Is the Difference?
So how do you know when you have chronic pain? According to the Cleveland Clinic, chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts for longer than 3-months. Sometimes the pain is constant, and other times it may come and go. Chronic pain can also occur anywhere in your body.
Furthermore, chronic pain typically interferes with your daily life. For example, the source says chronic pain may interfere with your social life or ability to work. Acute pain, on the other hand, develops after getting hurt, such as breaking a bone and it doesn’t usually last long. This type of pain also goes away after your body heals whereas chronic pain can continue even after you recover from the cause, such as injury or illness. Sometimes chronic pain can have no obvious causes.