What is chronic pain?
Chronic pain is long standing pain that persists beyond the usual recovery period or occurs along with a chronic health condition, such as arthritis or fibromyalgia. Chronic pain may be intermittent or continuous. It may affect people to the point that they cannot work, eat properly, participate in physical activity, or enjoy life. Chronic pain is considered a major medical condition that can and should be treated.
What causes chronic pain?
There are many causes of chronic pain. It may have started from an illness or accident, from which a person has long since recovered. Or there may be an ongoing cause of pain, such as arthritis or cancer. Many people suffer chronic pain in the absence of any past injury or evidence of illness.
Treatment for chronic pain:
Chronic pain involves all aspects of a person's life; therefore, the most effective treatment includes not only relief of symptoms, but also other types of support. A multidisciplinary approach to pain management can often provide the needed interventions to help manage the pain. Pain management programs are usually conducted on an outpatient basis. Many skilled professionals are part of the pain management rehabilitation team, including any/all of the following:
- orthopedists/orthopedic surgeons
- physical therapists
- occupational therapists
- social workers
- case managers
- vocational counselors