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Symptoms and Causes of Chronic Pain! Chronic Pain is a condition affecting the nerves. People suffering from chronic pain typically feel pain that lasts for over six months. Chronic pain is a unique condition because of how it affects the body — even as the underlying condition resolves, the pain does not. With chronic pain, the nerves once affected by an injury or underlying condition continue to send out painful messages to the brain without reason. Many different underlying conditions can cause chronic pain.
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Causes of Chronic Pain
The causes of chronic pain are endless. This painful condition is not completely understood by health officials and is still being researched. While there is a lot of unknowns surrounding chronic pain, the causes can be listed. A few of the most common causes of chronic pain:
- Nerve damage
- Chronic Back pain/conditions
- Frequent migraines and headaches
Symptoms of Chronic Pain
This pain targets all parts of the body. Each person can suffer differently and feel numerous symptoms of chronic pain especially once the causes of chronic pain have been determined. There are both mental and physical symptoms to watch out for.
Physical Symptoms of Chronic Pain
- Muscle pain
- Frequent headaches
- Throbbing pain
- Stinging pain in legs
- Soreness throughout the body
Mental Symptoms of Chronic Pain
- Body dysmorphia
- Inconsistent mood swings
How to Diagnose Chronic Pain
Since the pain targets all parts of the body, the diagnosis takes time and requires multiple tests. It takes approximately 3-6 months for someone to be diagnosed with this condition. The tests vary depending on symptoms. Let’s look at How to Diagnose Chronic Pain below:
- Questions: The first step in diagnosis is for a practitioner to ask a patient questions about their symptoms. Healthcare professionals need to get a clear image of what is going on with the patient before providing a concrete diagnosis. During this test, the practitioner can ask about medical history, any past injuries, and the status of the current pain. Afterward, the practitioner can schedule further testing that localizes the pain and rules out any serious underlying conditions.
- MRIs: If the pain is localized internally, there is a good chance that a doctor will recommend getting an MRI. This test can look for tissue disorders, inflammation, and overall damage to the bones. Once the MRIs are back, the doctor may ask for additional testing or create a treatment/management plan.
- X-Rays: Like MRIs, x-rays are used to diagnose chronic pain by looking at the bones for any past or current damage. This lets the doctor know of any previous injuries that may or may not be fully healed.
Once the question “How to Diagnose Chronic Pain” is properly answered, the healthcare professional can focus on treatment.
How to Treat This Ailment
Chronic pain treatment differs and varies depending on the area of the pain and the levels. Depending on lifestyle and diet, doctors can prescribe various treatments.
- Exercise: One of the most common treatments is exercise. Individuals suffering from chronic pain may also experience other conditions such as obesity and arthritis. Frequently and consistently exercising has been proven to decrease pain levels with the release of natural endorphins.
- Diet Changes: Not only can exercise treat the pain but so can dietary changes. Eating red meats and food high in fats have been linked with an increase in chronic pain. However, it is important to talk to your doctor whenever starting a new diet to see if it is right for you.
- Physical Therapy: The third most common treatment for chronic pain is physical therapy. During these sessions, a trained professional can help you stretch and use your body to release pain. This therapy teaches you certain movements that decrease pain levels and teach you comfortable accommodations that you can make.
- How to Best Manage: Managing can be done with ease. Depending on your age, you can manage chronic pain through medication, meditation, and less stress.
- Does chronic pain ever go away? There is no “one” cure for chronic pain but, there are treatments that can target the cause. Since each case is different, it is impossible to determine one root solution or cure that works for everybody.
- Is chronic pain hereditary? It is currently unknown. Some studies have shown that over 25% of patients with chronic pain have genetic links to the disease. Still, the majority of sufferers have this condition because of a prior injury or condition.
Healthier Me Today is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment, always consult with your healthcare professional. Stay healthy!