Chronic Pain Explained: What It Is, Why It Happens, and How to Manage It

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Chronic pain
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Chronic pain is a debilitating condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life, making even simple daily tasks difficult to perform. 

It is defined as a pain that lasts for more than 12 weeks. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including injury, disease, and aging.  It can significantly impact a person’s quality of life, affecting their ability to work, sleep, and socialize. Understanding the causes, diagnosis, and treatment options for chronic pain is crucial for both patients and healthcare professionals. 

Causes of Chronic Pain

The causes of the pain can vary depending on the individual. Some common causes include:

    • Physical Injury: Chronic pain can be caused by an injury, such as a car accident or a sports injury.
    • Aging: As people age, they are more likely to experience chronic pain. This is because the body’s tissues and joints break down over time.
    • Mental health conditions: Some mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, can also cause you pain.
    • Neurological conditions: Some neurological conditions, such as multiple sclerosis and stroke, can also cause pain.
    • Nerve Damage including: Neuropathy, Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and Phantom limb pain.

There are Some Common Diseases Caused by Chronic Pain , including:

  • Arthritis: This is a condition that causes inflammation and stiffness in the joints, which can lead to pain in the affected areas.
  • Fibromyalgia: This is a common condition, affecting an estimated 2% to 4% of the population. It is more common in women than in men, and it typically starts in middle age. 

It mostly causes pain all over the body, and is often described as achy, burning, or tender.

  • Multiple Sclerosis: The exact cause of multiple sclerosis (MS) is unknown, but it is thought to be an autoimmune disease. In an autoimmune disease, the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells by mistake. 

In MS, the immune system attacks the myelin sheath, a protective layer that surrounds the nerves in the central nervous system (CNS).

  • Cancer: This is a disease that causes abnormal cell growth in the body, which can form tumors that press on nerves, bones, or organs, causing chronic pain.
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