Chronic Pain Meaning and Definition:
Chronic pain most commonly starts with a very acute injury or illness. But, the pain of this injury or illness lasts more than six months, then it is considered as chronic pain. Chronic pain sometimes causes complications which in turn, make pain worse. Chronic pain syndrome is a combination of chronic pain and secondary complications which make the original pain more worse.
But what actually are these secondary complications? This pain often leads to some problems over time. For example, people have trouble sleeping because of pain. After some time, they are tired and they lose their patience, and everything starts bugging them. They find that coping with chronic pain gets harder. Few people stop working which causes job loss. They might experience financial problems. The stress of these problems keeps them awake. Also, Overthinking in the middle of the night can make the original sleeping problem worse.
Causes Of Chronic Pain Syndrome:
Doctors could not exactly identify what causes CPS. This syndrome often starts with an injury or painful condition such as:
- Arthritis and any other joint problems
- Back pain
- Muscle strains and sprains
- Repetitive stress injuries, it is when the same movement over and over puts a strain on any body part
- Fibromyalgia, this is a condition that causes muscle pain
- Nerve damage
- Lyme disease
- Broken bones
- Acid reflux or ulcers
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Endometriosis, this is when tissue in the uterus grows outside of it
Symptoms Of Chronic Pain Syndrome:
Chronic pain a pain lasting more than 12 weeks. Where acute pain is a normal sensation that alerts us to a possible injury. Chronic pain often persists—often for months or even longer.
Chronic pain also may arise from an initial injury, such as a back sprain, or an ongoing cause, such as illness. However, there may be no exact clear cause. Many other health problems, such as fatigue, sleep disturbance, decreased appetite, and mood changes, often accompany chronic pain. Chronic pain may often limit a person’s movements, which can reduce flexibility, strength, and stamina. It is often difficult to carry out important and enjoyable activities.
It also affects your physical health, your emotions, and your social life over time. It can lead to other symptoms, such as:
- Feeling very tired or wiped out
- Sleep disorder
This pain also ranges from mild to severe. The pain can feel like:
- A dull ache
Sometimes the pain is just one of many other symptoms, which also include:
- Feeling very tired or wiped out
- Not feeling hungry
- Changes in mood
- A lack of energy
- Trouble sleeping
Chronic pain can also interfere with your daily life activities by keeping you away from doing the things you want .
Diagnosing Chronic Pain Syndrome:
Your doctor may ask you about illnesses or injuries that might have started with the pain. To learn more about the type of pain you feel and how long you’ve had it your doctor may also ask you a few questions like:
- When did the pain start?
- Where does it hurt?
- What does pain feel like?
- How severe is your pain on a scale of 1 to 10?
- What seems to set off the pain or make it worse?
Few imaging tests can also show whether you have joint damage or other problems that cause pain:
Computed Tomography. It is a powerful X-ray which makes detailed pictures inside your body.
MRI: It uses radio waves, and magnets to make pictures of organs and structures inside you.
X-ray. It uses low dose radiations to make images of structures in your body.
Treatment Of Chronic Pain Syndrome:
Treatment of chronic pain syndrome is tailored for each patient. The treatment also must be aimed at the interruption of reinforcement of the pain and modulation of the pain response. The goals of treatment should be realistic and focused on the restoration of normal function (minimal disability), the better quality of life, reduction of the use of medication, and also prevention of relapse of chronic symptoms.
Psychological interventions, which are in conjunction with medical intervention, PT, and occupational therapy (OT), increase the effectiveness of the treatment. Family members are also involved in the evaluation and treatment processes.
Cautions must be taken during treatment in patients who have any of the following behaviors:
- Poor response to prior management
- Who show Unusual, unexpected response to a prior specific treatment
- Avoidance of responsibilities
- Severe depression
- Anxiety disorder
- Excessive pain behavior
A self-directed or therapist-directed physical therapy program which is individualized to the patient’s needs and goals are provided in association with occupational therapy (OT), which has an important role in functional restoration for patients with chronic pain syndrome.
This therapy benefits in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
A doctor will tailor your therapy to the source of pain. You can’t get one or more of these treatments:
Physical therapy, including heat or cold on the particular part that hurts, massages, stretching exercises, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).
- Occupational therapy
- Counselling, one-on-one or a group therapy
- Relaxation techniques like deep breathing or meditation
- Spinal cord stimulation
- Nerve blocks
- Medicines to treat pain such as NSAIDs, any antidepressants, anti-seizure drugs, and also muscle relaxants.
- Surgeries to treat the condition that caused the pain