Headache, twisted ankle, cramps, sciatica. These are only a few examples of the types of pain people experience every day. Even though no one enjoys it, pain is an important communication tool between the nerve endings and the brain, either informing you that you got injured or alerting you of a potential danger. Usually, as the injury heals, the pain simply goes away. Unfortunately, one type of pain sticks around – chronic pain. What’s the mechanism behind it? What can you do to fight it? What are the possible treatments? In today’s article, we answer the most frequent questions about chronic pain that patients ask when they visit our pain clinic in Hollywood.
What is chronic pain?
You must have heard this word at some point in your life, but do you actually know what characteristics chronic pain has? First of all, it lasts from several weeks to several years. Most pain that persists for 12 weeks is called chronic. Its presence effectively limits people by reducing their flexibility, endurance and strength. It may occur in any part of the body, have different severity and cause various sensations, such as burning or aching. This everyday burden, when untreated, may lead to depression and anxiety. Avoiding such physical and mental exhaustion is why the medical staff at our pain clinic in Hollywood always recommends seeing a pain management doctor whenever you struggle with pain for an extended period of time.
According to the American Academy of Pain, more than 1.5 billion people struggle with chronic pain, making it the most frequent cause of long-term disability in the USA1:
Number of sufferers
Coronary Heart Disease
Keep in mind that it can affect people of all ages, but it is definitely more common in older people.
What are the causes of chronic pain?
Usually chronic pain starts very innocently from an injury or a condition, including back pain, broken bones, or muscle strains and sprains. However, if the nerves get damaged, then the pain becomes more severe and longer-lasting; in such cases, treating the injury itself may not be enough to make pain the pain go away. Some cases are more complicated than this, such as when pain doesn’t come from a prior injury or is either hard or downright impossible to detect. It may sometimes result from an underlying health issue like fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome or interstitial cystitis. Some experts say that chronic pain may occasionally be caused by stress.
What are the most common types of chronic pain?
There are many different types of chronic pain; however, some of them are more common than others:
- · Lower back pain
- · Cancer pain
- · Headache
- · Postsurgical pain
- · Arthritis pain
- · Post-trauma pain
- · Neurogenic pain
- · Psychogenic pain
If you suffer from any of the above, don’t hesitate to visit our pain clinic in Hollywood, where we will help you ease the pain and get you back to your everyday activities without discomfort.
How to treat chronic pain?
At our pain clinic in Hollywood, we always tell our patients that first and foremost, they need to see a physician who will determine the source of pain. Afterwards, he or she will recommend the most appropriate treatment. The following are common treatment strategies:2
- · Medications:
o Over-the-counter pain relievers, e.g. aspirin or ibuprofen
o Opioid pain relievers, e.g. morphine or codeine
- · Medical Procedures:
o Nerve block
o Spinal cord stimulation
- · Lifestyle remedies:
o Physical Therapy
Our Pain Clinic in Hollywood will help you recover in no time!
If you have recently been injured, been sick or had surgery, you have most likely experienced pain. It should go away as you heal. However, if your pain is intense or doesn’t stop, you need to see a physician who will help get you back on your feet. If you are suffering from chronic pain, contact our pain clinic in Hollywood right away. We will tailor your treatment to your needs.