What Is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain is discomfort that lasts for three to six months or more. It can affect any area of the body. Living with chronic pain can be debilitating and prevent you from enjoying your everyday activities. It can also lead to social isolation and depression.
It can develop when nerves keep sending pain signals to the brain, even after your initial injury or illness has healed. Chronic pain can stem from:
- Arthritis – Often caused by age-related wear and tear on the joints
- Back problems – Injuries or age-related wear and tear on your spine
- Fibromyalgia – A condition that causes muscle pain all over the body
- Infections – When your body must fight off bacterial or viral illness
- Injury – Can include car accidents, falls and sports injuries
- Migraines and headaches – Severe head pain, sensitivity to light and nausea
- Nerve damage – When your nerves no longer send and receive signals from the brain properly
- Surgery – Can cause chronic pain in some instances because it involves trauma to the body
The symptoms of chronic pain depend on the source of your pain. The pain can feel like one or more of the following sensations:
- Dull ache
- Pressure or squeezing
Chronic pain can also lead to:
- Changes in mood
- Depression and isolation
- Fatigue or low energy
- Trouble sleeping
Treatment for chronic pain depends on the source of your pain. Treatment methods may include:
- Behavioral health therapy – Talk therapy can help you develop mental and emotional coping skills when dealing with pain.
- Discography – This procedure helps your doctor determine if a specific disc in your spine is causing pain.
- Medication management – Your doctor may recommend medication, such as intrathecal drug delivery (pumps), over-the-counter pain relievers, topical ointments, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, antidepressants, anti-epileptics, and weak or strong opioid medications to treat your pain.
- Nerve blocks – Injections can help manage various types of pain by blocking nerve signals. We offer nerve blocks including trigger point injections, peripheral nerve blocks, sympathetic nerve blocks, epidural injections, facet joint injections, sacroiliac joint injections, and botox amongst others.
- Radiofrequency ablation – This is a minimally invasive procedure in which an electrical current heats nerve tissue to decrease pain signals in that area.
- Stimulation therapies – Procedures can stimulate the nerves and regulate their signals to reduce pain. We offer dorsal root ganglion stimulation, peripheral nerve stimulation and spinal cord stimulation.
Ready for an Appointment?
If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of chronic pain, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.
Learn more about our doctors and care team who diagnose and treat chronic pain.