Chronic pain comes in many different forms and severities, affecting about 100 million Americans and 1.5 billion people worldwide. Chronic pain can affect people of all ages, but it is most commonly found in older adults. Chronic pain usually occurs following an injury and continues to prolong for some time after that. After an injury, patients will feel pain in the injured area caused by pain signals traveling from the affected area up the spinal cord and to the brain. Chronic pain, however, is when pain signals are continually sent to the brain after the injury has healed.
Chronic pain doesn’t have a definitive cause or effect on any specific part of the body, but the most common causes are:
lower back pain
Chronic pain is defined as pain signals being sent 12 weeks after the injury has healed, in some cases lasting years. The pain feels different depending on the injury and the affected area. Patients may feel sharp or dull pain, burning sensations, or aching in the affected area. The pain may be continuous or sporadic, coming and going at random. Chronic pain often results in reduced strength, endurance, stamina, and mobility, making simple daily activities difficult to complete.
Pain is a very subjective experience and trying to identify the pain level can be difficult. Doctors will work with patients depending on their unique cause, pain level, and sensation to create a pain management plan that best works for them. The goal of any chronic treatment plan is to reduce pain and increase mobility.
Chronic pain can affect a patient emotionally as well, increasing stress and anxiety which can then increase the severity of the pain. Luckily, there are different lifestyle remedies that can help reduce chronic pain that patients can do in the convenience of their own home. Decreasing the stress is important for coping and recovery and doctors will often advise patients to seek support groups and the company of family and friends. It is also recommended to continue daily activities despite discomfort. Chronic pain may make some tasks difficult to complete, but isolation will increase negativity and emotional distress.
Along with lifestyle remedies, a trained professional may recommend a number of treatments like medication, acupuncture, nerve blocks, or sometimes surgery to reduce chronic pain. These treatments are accompanied by the lifestyle changes decided by patients and doctors for the most effective treatment and results.
If you are experiencing any sort of chronic pain, Madison Physical Therapy with two locations in Brooklyn, NY offers personalized, effective treatment methods that adhere to your needs. We combine exercise therapy, manual therapy, and home exercise plans to reduce pain and get you better without surgery or medication.