We read a lot about chronic pain on the Internet, read about it at the doctor office, and hear about it on cable news shows. Many sufferers think pain is pain, no matter what medical tags you put on it. On the other hand, it’s nice to know what kind of pain you have, and that it may not get worse.
There are two types of pain: acute and chronic. Acute pain happens when you’re running, for example, and you come down too hard on a stone. The pain is intense and immediate. You limp back home, thinking it will go away in a few days to a couple of weeks. Chronic pain lasts longer, is also intense, and requires either physical therapy, medications, or both to control it. It doesn’t go away as easily.
What Constitutes Chronic Pain?
Medical professionals see pain as a symptom of something. Pain that persists is seen as the underlying symptom of a condition that simply hasn’t healed. Medical professionals know that just treating the symptoms doesn’t fix the problem. They also know that until they can find the root of the problem, the pain can only be treated temporarily.
With that said, pain that persists for weeks, months, and even years is chronic. The pain doesn’t have to come from an injury. It comes from arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, a cyst, thermomandibular joint dysfunction, or inflammatory bowel problems, and a host of other troubles.
When It’s No Longer Temporary
Chronic pain soon after six months begins to grow on its own independent of the condition that began it. For example, you woke up one day with knee pain. The doctor says it’s bursitis. You are medicated and sent to physical therapy. You keep doing the exercises. The pain, however, hasn’t disappeared. It’s getting worse.
This kind of pain can and does grow into its own entity. It no longer pertains to the bursitis. This pain happens in addition to any residual pain from the bursitis. The bursitis may have healed to some degree and the pain slowed down or stopped, but chronic pain in the knee is here to stay.
The Nervous System
Chronic pain might be bearable if it weren’t for a network of nerves constantly alerting the brain of pain. The nerve network is all over the body, sending its signals of injury and/or pain to the brain. The brain alerts the body that there is pain. The body sends water to the injury to protect it from further impact. The area will swell and be tender to the touch. The snag to this is that the nervous system never sleeps. When it feels pain, it alerts the brain and the whole circle begins again.
If you suffer from such pain and would like to learn more about it as well as possible treatments, feel free to contact us today. WellnessPlus Medical Center is conveniently located in Pembroke Pines and Miami Beach, FL.