What Makes Pain Chronic? (part 3)

Continuing our blog series on “Pain”. Submitted by guest author, Kevin Samuels, Outreach Coordinator, Flowers Health: https://jflowershealth.com/


Pain is a complex condition, defined as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage. It has both physiological and psychological components. When a person sustains an injury, damaged tissues send pain signals to the brain. This is the body’s way of preventing further tissue damage. Pain signals that reach the brain stimulate nerves, causing an unpleasant sensation called pain.

In some cases, the brain fails to process the pain signals properly and continues to feel the “pain” even after the injury has resolved. Over time, nerves that send pain signals become more efficient. It means they will send more intense signals than they should.

Many lifelong conditions, such as cancer and diabetes, cause widespread tissue and nerve damage. Both of these conditions can cause chronic pain.

Acute Pain vs. Chronic Pain

Acute pain typically lasts three months or less. Mostly, the causes are clear. When the underlying factor, such as an injury, goes away, the pain is relieved. Once the pain is gone, the person who has been suffering from it will have no problems carrying out their daily activities.

Some common causes of acute pain are:
— Surgical or dental procedures
— Bone fractures
— Burns
— Cuts
— Labor and childbirth

Chronic pain usually lasts three to six months. However, some painful conditions may persist for years. Someone may experience chronic pain long after they are injured, or without any apparent cause. In some cases, more than one factor may be involved. Such pain causes significant problems with daily activities and can be debilitating. Chronic pain is associated with long-term conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, and arthritis.

Chronic Pain Syndrome

Finally, there exists “chronic pain syndrome” which refers to a cluster of conditions secondary to long-term pain. These conditions may make the pain worse or cause other complications, such as sleep problems, anxiety, fear of pain, or depression.

JD Miller

About JD Miller

John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. Phone: (781) 378-2164 Email: [email protected] Website: https://homecarepartnersma.com

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