For most people, pain is just a nuisance that comes and goes in different areas of the body. It can come about from sleeping in an awkward position, sitting for extended periods of time, or performing unnatural repeated movements. Scrapes and bruises from playing sports or stubbed toes against the bedpost are all examples of moments we experience pain that is quickly forgotten. Yet for millions of Americans, chronic pain is a serious problem that affects daily life. At what point does acute pain become chronic, and when does it start to change the way you live?
Acute vs. Chronic Pain
Acute pain is the regular type of pain we experience throughout our lives. This pain is uncomfortable, unpleasant, and unwanted, but it is a sign that we’ve been hurt. Pain lets us know that something is wrong. Acute pain starts suddenly and has a sharp intensity to it. This warns the body of disease or some kind of threat. Burns, cuts, a broken bone, and childbirth are all examples of acute pain.
The time you experience acute pain varies. Sometimes you can hurt for a few seconds, at other times it may persist for a few weeks. In general, acute pain does not last longer than a few months and it goes away when the root of the pain has healed. Acute pain that has not been able to be relieved can transform into chronic pain.
Chronic pain is pain that persists for longer than 12 weeks at a time and can sometimes occur after surgery. It can come from acute pain that was caused by an injury, or it could be a symptom of an illness. If your pain was sparked by an injury that has healed but the pain sticks around, that is chronic pain. Pain signals that remain active in the nervous system for extended periods of time with seemingly no reason must be addressed as they can have very physical consequences.
Quality of Life with Chronic Pain
Your quality of life drastically reduces when you live with chronic pain. The pain can be the culprit for limited mobility, tension in your muscles, lethargy, and changes in your appetite. It can even trigger depression, anxiety, and resentment. Common causes of chronic pain include diseases like arthritis, cancer, diabetes, and fibromyalgia.
The cause of many forms of chronic pain can remain unknown, but there is hope when you seek treatment from a renowned pain clinic. If you are living with chronic pain that affects your ability to get around and perform your daily routine, the pain has become a problem. If you can no longer run errands or pick up an item you’ve dropped, the pain is something that needs your attention. When your mood has soured and your relationship with your friends and family has deteriorated, your chronic pain has gone too far.
There are different methods to help you cope with chronic pain, such as physical therapy, yoga, acupuncture, or even chiropractic treatments. Prescription painkillers can help reduce your pain; however, if you are looking to treat your pain, you need the attention of a physician who specializes in helping patients find relief. At Garden State Pain Control, our highly-specialized pain management physicians are available to guide your recovery from pain. If you’re one of the over 3 million Americans who suffers from chronic pain each year, take the opportunity to eliminate or reduce your pain by booking an appointment today.