What is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain is a form of pain that occurs regularly and last for longer than 12 weeks, even after treatment or medication has been given to the patient.
After experiencing any form of pain, most people find that it disappears and that they can lead a normal life. In some cases, the pain can last for longer and can occur even without a history of an injury or operation. Chronic pain can be experienced in almost every part of the body and it can affect people of all ages.
Diagnosing Chronic Pain
When it comes to diagnosing chronic pain, it can prove difficult as there is no way to objectively measure pain.
However, a specialist will ask where the pain is located and how long it has been occurring for. This will enable them to gain an idea as to whether it is chronic pain or not. They will then ask questions about the type of pain they are experiencing such as whether it is a sharp or dull pain or if it is constant pain or only occurs sporadically. The patient will also be asked to rate their pain by using a numerical scale.
A specialist will also carry out a physical examination while some tests might be carried out including laboratory tests, MRI scans or X-rays as well as musculoskeletal and neurological tests.
Treating Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can differ in every case which means that there is no one single form of treatment for it. Therefore, it can take an element of trial and error to find out which treatment works best. Often, patients are encouraged to exercise to the point where they still feel comfortable in order to keep the bones and muscles strong while it can also help to keep patients feeling positive.
In some instances, physical therapy is recommended as a way of dealing with the pain and targeting the problem area to ease the pain or eradicate it. Patients might also be given painkillers to help reduce the pain which can help them to remain active and in some cases, surgery may be required.