What is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain/acute pain/severe pain. A normal reaction of your body to an injury or illness is a warning that something is wrong. When our body heals, we usually stop the pain.
But for many, the cause of the pain is still there. When it lasts 3 to 6 months or more, it is called acute pain. When you get hurt every day, it can hurt your emotional and physical health.
About 25% of people with severe pain develop a condition called chronic pain syndrome (CPS). When people’s pains are not alone, depression and anxiety, which disrupts their daily lives.
Treating CPS can be difficult, but not impossible. A combination of therapies such as counseling, physical therapy, and relaxation techniques can help relieve your pain and other symptoms that come with it.
Everyone experiences occasional aches and chronic pain. In fact, sudden pain is an important reaction of the nervous system that helps to warn you about potential injuries. When an injury occurs, pain signals travel from the injured area to your spine and to the brain.
The pain is usually less severe when the injury heals. However, acute pain is different from normal pain. With severe pain, your body is sending signals of pain to your brain even when injured. It can last from several weeks to many years. Acute pain can limit your mobility and reduce your flexibility, strength, and endurance. Getting into daily tasks and activities can be challenging.
Acute pain is defined as pain that lasts at least 12 weeks. The pain may feel intense or dull, causing burning or pain in the affected area. It can be static or intermittent, coming and going for no apparent reason. Severe pain can occur in almost any part of your body. The pain may feel different in different affected areas.
Some common types of acute pain include:
- Postoperative pain
- Pain after trauma
- Lower back-pain
- Cancer pain
- Arthritis pain
- Neurogenic pain (pain caused by nerve damage)
- Psychogenic pain (pain that is not caused by disease, injury or nerve damage)
According to the American Academy of Pain Medicine, more than 1.5 billion people worldwide suffer from chronic pain. It is the most common cause of long-term disability in the United States, affecting nearly 100 million Americans.
What causes severe pain?
Acute pain is usually caused by an initial injury, such as a spinal cord or stretched muscle. It is believed that severe pain develops after the nerves are damaged. Nerve damage makes the pain more intense and lasts longer. In these cases, acute pain cannot be resolved if the underlying injury is treated.
However, in some cases, people experience severe pain without any prior injury. The exact cause of acute pain without injury cannot be understood. Pain can sometimes be caused by a basic health condition, such as:
Acute Fatigue Syndrome: Symptoms of extreme, prolonged fatigue, often accompanied by pain
Endometriosis: a painful disorder that develops when the lining of the uterus outside the uterus grows
Fibromyalgia: Extensive pain in bones and muscles
Inflammatory bowel disease: A group of conditions that cause painful, acute inflammation of the digestive tract.
Interstitial cystitis: an acute disorder marked by bladder pressure and pain
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ): A condition that can cause painful clicks, popping, or jaw lock.
Vulvodynia: Acute vulva pain that occurs for no apparent reason
Who is at risk of severe pain?
Acute pain can affect people of all ages, but it is more common in older adults. In addition to age, other factors that may increase the risk of acute pain include:
- An injured
- Being female
- Overweight or obesity
- How are acute pains treated?
How to treat Chronic Pain?
The main goal of treatment is to reduce pain and increase mobility. It helps you get back to your daily routine without discomfort.
The frequency of acute pain and severity can vary from person to person. So doctors create pain management plans that are specific to each individual. Your pain management plan will depend on your symptoms and any underlying health condition. Medical treatment, lifestyle therapy, or a combination of these methods can be used to treat your acute pain.
Medications for acute pain.
There are many types of medications available that can treat acute pain. Here are some examples:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or aspirin (Bufferin) or ibuprofen (Advil).
- Or opioid painkillers with morphine (MS cantine), codeine and hydrocodone (Tsigon)
- Adjuvant analgesics such as anti-depressants and anticonvulsants
Acute pain medical procedures
Certain medical procedures can also relieve acute pain. Examples of some:
- Electrical stimulation, which reduces pain by sending a mild electric shock to your muscles
- Nerve block, this is an injection that prevents the nerves from sending pain signals to your brain
- Up Acupuncture, in which your skin can be lightly pierced with a needle to reduce pain
- Surgery, which corrects improperly healed wounds and can cause pain
Lifestyle remedies for acute pain
In addition, various lifestyle remedies are available to help reduce acute pain. Examples include:
- Physical therapy.
- Tai Chi
- Art and music therapy
- Pet treatment
How to Deal with Chronic Pain?
There is no cure for acute pain, but the condition can be managed successfully. It is important to stick to your pain management plan to help eliminate the symptoms.
Physical pain is associated with emotional pain, so severe pain can increase your stress levels. Enhancing emotional skills can help you cope with any stress related to your condition. Here are some steps you can take to reduce stress:
Take good care of your body: Eating well, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly can keep your body healthy and reduce stress.
Continue to participate in your daily activities: You can boost your mood and reduce stress by participating in activities you enjoy and socializing with friends. Acute pain can be challenging to perform specific tasks. But isolating yourself can give you a more negative view of your condition and increase your sensitivity to pain.
Friends, family, and support groups can lend a helping hand and give you relief in difficult situations. If you are struggling with daily tasks or just need emotional upliftment, a close friend or loved one can provide the support you need.