Chronic pain is caused by several different factors. A few conditions that go together with normal aging also affect joints and bones that eventually lead to chronic pain. Other notable causes of chronic pain are injuries and nerve damage.
What Causes It?
Chronic pain interrupts our life as it interferes with our relationships, work, and other important life activities. Chronic pain is not different from high blood pressure or diabetes and must be treated by medications and treatment.
- Poor posture
- Excessive weight
- Carrying heavy objects
- Curvature of the spine
- Traumatic injury
- Using a poor mattress
- Aging of the spine
Sometimes, no physical or obvious cause is identified for chronic pain.
There are many diseases that can be the underlying reason for chronic pain. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia are the most common culprits of persistent pain. Other serious ailments, such as gallbladder disease, stomach ulcers, cancer and multiple sclerosis, are also potential causes of chronic pain.
These are some of the common risk factors of chronic pain.
- Health problems, such as phantom limb pain, fibromyalgia, arthritis and shingles
- Anxiety disorders
- History of emotional or physical abuse
There are various viable alternative treatments for chronic pain other than surgery. These non-surgical treatments are safe and have proven effective. These include exercises that should ideally be done under the supervision of a physical therapist. Other alternative modalities, such as acupuncture or TENS (Transcutaneous Electro-Nerve Stimulator) units utilize pads that are used on your skin to offer stimulation around the affected region and are helpful in reducing certain symptoms of pain. Other interventional techniques use injections that are inserted into different levels of the spinal region.
Other treatments include the following prescription drugs:
- Muscle Relaxers
- Tricyclic Antidepressants
- General Pain Medications
When to See a Doctor
You should seek medical assistance whenever chronic pain becomes unbearable and span over an unusual time period. It is important you keep pain from getting worse to avoid complications. For instance, it is normal for a burn or cut to be painful for some time. However, if the pain persists for a longer period or becomes recurrent, you should immediately contact a doctor.
Moreover, if the pain from an injury does not go away and keeps coming back in episodes, notify your doctor. Your primary care doctor should be able to help you and treat the symptoms and intensity of your pain. If required, he will recommend you to a specialist who will prescribe a few tests to treat chronic pain.
Getting Ready For an Appointment
Your doctor will assess the intensity of your pain by asking you to rate your pain level. Generally, patients will be asked to rank the intensity of their pain on a scale from one to 5. A number is helpful in offering insight into your discomfort. However, the activities that trigger your pain will allow the doctor to investigate and treat chronic pain.