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Chronic Pain Relief

Dec 04, 2008

What is chronic pain? Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts more than three months and does not serve as a warning of physical illness or injury. Pain is usually the body's way of indicating that something is wrong. It is normal to have pain accompanying an injury or illness. Pain that continues for months or years isn't normal.

Chronic pain is different than acute pain, because it may be difficult to find the cause. Although a physical injury may be the initial cause, pain often persists after the physical injury has healed. It may also be triggered by long-term illnesses.

The following resources offer more information on the basics of chronic pain.

Types of chronic pain

The most common types of chronic pain are headache, backache, and arthritis pain. Certain neurological conditions cause chronic pain, such as fibromyalgia. Sometimes the underlying cause of the chronic pain is unknown.

Learn more about the types of chronic pain from the following resources.

Treatment of chronic pain

Treatment of chronic pain focuses on pain relief through medications, and through other types of treatments such as acupuncture, massage, hydrotherapy, or physical therapy. Mild chronic pain can be treated with over-the-counter medication such as acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen. Exercising and choosing healthy food may relieve some forms of chronic pain.

But when chronic pain becomes disabling and reduces the patient's quality of life, more drastic treatment measures may need to be pursued, such as surgery or prescription medications. Learn more from the following resources.

Coping with pain

Chronic pain that continues for weeks or months without relief can bring on feelings of anger, frustration, anxiety, fear, and depression. Counseling may help a patient cope with these feelings.

One in four Americans is living with chronic, disabling pain. Many people with chronic pain can be helped if they understand the cause and the many treatment options available. Research is continually being done in medical schools and other research facilities to investigate treatment options for chronic pain sufferers. Scientists believe that more and better treatment options will be available in the years ahead.

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