Healthcare Tips

Chronic Pain: Here is What You Need to Know

Chronic Pain

Pain is a symptom of a developing condition in the body. However, persistent chronic pain is uncomfortable and should be relieved as soon as possible. If you are struggling with chronic pain, there is help. Jay M. Shah MD is a board-certified physician at SamWell Institute for Pain Management who offers pain relief treatments to help you resume your daily routines.

Chronic PainUnderstanding chronic pain

Chronic pain is physical distress that persists longer than six months.

Causes of chronic pain

The causes of chronic pain include traumatic injury or medical conditions such as:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Cancer
  • Joint problems like arthritis
  • Ulcers or acid reflux
  • Endometriosis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Lyme disease
  • Surgery

Types of chronic pain

The types of chronic pain include:

  1. Nerve pain

Nerve pain is physical distress caused when pain signals are sent to your brain, affecting your body’s nerves.

Underlying brain conditions can cause nerve pain and can feel like small pricks of pain to a jolting Taser-like pain.

  1. Complex regional pain syndrome

High levels of pain signals sent to a specific body location can cause complex regional pain syndrome. Complex regional pain syndrome can develop in any part of your body. The exact cause of complex regional pain syndrome is not known. However, research specialists attribute the condition to a malfunction in the central or peripheral nervous system.

The signs and symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome include:

  • A burning sensation
  • Skin problems
  • Swollen joints
  • Limited mobility
  • Lack of energy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

  1. Neuropathic pain

Neuropathic pain is a type of chronic pain caused by a malfunction or damage in the nervous system. Neuropathic pain causes chronic pain similar to a burning or jolting pain sensation. Other signs and symptoms of neuropathic pain include:

  • Swollen joints
  • Limited mobility
  • Lack of energy
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anxiety

Neuropathic pain is caused by;

  • Alcoholism
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer and its treatments
  • Amputation
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases such as HIV
  • Spine surgery

  1. Myofascial pain syndrome

Significant amounts of pressure exerted on sensitive muscles cause myofascial pain syndrome. Excess pressure on muscles leads to pain in the tissues.

Myofascial pain can be caused by tension due to repetitive muscle use.

Diagnosis of chronic pain

During your first consultation, your care provider will do a comprehensive physical examination to determine the source of your pain. Physical examination for chronic pain usually involves imaging tests such as a computed tomography scan (CT scan), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or X-ray. He will also review your medical history and ask you questions concerning the symptoms you might be experiencing.

It is crucial to address chronic pain as soon as possible to deal with any severe life-threatening medical conditions causing it.

Treatment of chronic pain

Treatment options that can help relieve chronic pain include:

  • Physical therapy including transcutaneous electrical nerve impulses
  • Relaxation techniques including meditative breathing
  • The use of surgery to treat the underlying condition causing the pain
  • Nerve blocks
  • Spinal cord stimulation
  • Pain medication
  • Occupational therapy

To learn more about chronic pain, schedule your appointment by calling SamWell Institute of Pain Management.

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