Chronic pain is pain that lasts a long time. In medicine, the distinction between acute and chronic pain is sometimes determined by an arbitrary interval of time. Chronic pain is often defined as any pain lasting more than 12 weeks. Whereas acute pain is a normal sensation that alerts us to possible injury, chronic pain is. Everyone feels pain from time to time, but chronic pain is different. Find out what causes chronic pain and how it can affect your emotional.
These include tense muscles, limited ability to move around, a lack of energy, and appetite changes. Emotional effects of chronic pain include depression, anger, anxiety, and fear of re-injury. Such a fear might limit a person's ability to return to their regular work or leisure activities. Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Chronic Pain Acute pain can be mild and last just a moment, or it might be severe and last for weeks or months.
What is the difference between acute and chronic pain? The symptoms of chronic pain can also include fatigue, sleeplessness, and the feeling of discomfort, soreness, tightness, or stiffness.
Chronic pain patients may use descriptive terms such as shooting pain, burning pain, aching pain, or electrical shocks. Chronic pain is often difficult to diagnose. A correct and early diagnosis is crucial to find the right treatment and relieving chronic pain symptoms. It is therefore important that patients describe their symptoms in as much detail as possible to their doctor to facilitate identification of the actual cause of the chronic pain condition.
As part of this process, the doctor will conduct a physical examination and ask about the symptoms and their medical history. Your doctor might also ask you for the pain intensity pain scale , duration, frequency and other observations in your daily life. There are several treatment options available for chronic pain. It is important to get active. The questionnaire is a very useful tool to improve the communication between patients and doctors, as it supports the doctor in making an accurate diagnosis of the cause of chronic pain.
It will be most useful for you to accurately describe your pain, where it occurs on your body and if it is triggered by anything in particular. Some are more effective than others. Whatever the treatment plan, it is important to remember that chronic pain usually cannot be cured, but it can be managed.
The following treatments are among the most common ways to manage pain. Medications, acupuncture, electrical stimulation, nerve blocks, or surgery are some treatments used for chronic pain. Less invasive psychotherapy, relaxation therapies, biofeedback, and behavior modification may also be used to treat chronic pain.
These methods can be powerful and effective in some people. These may include tai chi, acupuncture, meditation, massage therapies, and similar treatments.
Self-management of chronic pain holds great promise as a treatment approach. In self-management programs, the individual patient becomes an active participant in his or her pain treatment—engaging in problem-solving, pacing, decision-making, and taking actions to manage their pain.
Although self-management programs can differ, they have some common features. Their approach is that the person living with pain needs help learning to think, feel, and do better, despite the persistence of pain. Improving communication with the healthcare provider is part of that empowerment.
Acute vs. Chronic Pain
But for many people, pain continues long after its cause is gone. When it lasts for 3 to 6 months or more, it's called chronic pain. When you hurt. Chronic or persistent pain is pain that carries on for longer than 12 weeks despite medication or treatment. Learn some effective ways to control. Chronic pain is pain that lasts for at least 12 weeks. Learn about the causes, risk factors, and treatments for chronic pain.