What is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts longer than six months. It can be mild to severe, and impacts each patient differently. Common types of chronic pain include:
- Sinus pain
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
Chronic pain can persist for weeks, months, or years - and take a serious toll on a patient's physical and emotional well-being.
What Causes Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain has many potential causes. Typically, chronic pain stems from conditions or injuries to the various structures in the body (the muscles, joints, nerves, etc.). When an area of the body is injured it sends a signal through the nerves to the brain - where it is registered as pain and sent back to the injured body part. This is the internal process that occurs when you stub your toe or break your arm. Chronic pain is different from acute pain in that it recurs over time.
How is Chronic Pain Diagnosed?
An accurate diagnosis is the essential first step in treating chronic pain. A qualified pain management doctor can help diagnose your pain and recommend options for treatment. Your doctor will start with a patient history and routine physical exam. Additional testing (x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, blood tests, etc.) may also be necessary to confirm the diagnosis.