The term “chronic pain” is generally used to describe pain that lasts more than three to six months, or beyond the point of tissue healing. It is believed that pain can establish a pathway in the nervous system. In other words, the nervous system may be sending a pain signal even though the original tissue damage has healed. The nervous system misfires and creates the pain. In such cases, the pain is the disease rather than a symptom of an injury. Chronic pain management depends on the symptoms, and how much pain you’re in.
Chronic pain ranges from mild to severe, and if left untreated can harm your quality of life. Patients suffering from chronic pain are more likely to miss work and spend more time consulting a physician. Additionally, chronic pain can interfere with normal sleep patterns, making it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. Chronic pain is associated with increased loss of normal function and movement in general, which in time can lead to significantly reduced quality of life and disability.
Specific symptoms of chronic pain can vary from patient to patient. Some patients report a stabbing sensation while others may experience a dull ache. Chronic pain levels may also vary over time and are often affected by activity. Other symptoms associated with chronic pain conditions may include muscle spasm, cramping, tingling, stiffness, radiating pain, numbness, or weakness as well as an increased reaction to pressure or touch.