It is imperative to know what chronic pain is all about, its various causes, and the different body parts it affects. In this way, you can have an in-depth understanding of pain as a whole topic.
The description of chronic pain relatively differs from one medical researcher to the other. However, the principles and methods used in the treatment processes tend to remain the same.
This pain is usually determined by the arbitrary interval taken from the time the patient started feeling it.
The most common marker used in the medical field is explained as the pain that has prolonged between the periods of 3-6 months.
Nevertheless, other researchers do apply the term to the pain that has prolonged for more than 6 months and tends to get worse day after day.
On the other hand, acute pain is the kind of pain that a patient suffers for a period of not more than 3 months. In most cases, chronic is said to have its origin in the brain, spinal cord, or other parts of the body.
An overview of different types of chronic pain
There are different types of chronic pain which relatively vary in causes and how they affect the human body. These include;
This is known to be caused by a problem in the soft tissues and this might be visceral or somatic depending on variable factors. However, it might be due to arthritis, fibromyalgia, or any other diseases that fall in the same range.
This is a kind of nociceptive pain that affects many patients across the globe. Simply, it’s a pain that is detected not only in soft tissues but also in the skin and in the muscles.
This type is easier to locate because of the nerve distribution in organs. Some of the somatic pain includes tension, headaches, pelvic pain, and back pain that was not caused by nerves.
This is the kind of pain that the root-cause has not been determined by medical experts. It can neither be traced back to nociceptive, psychogenic, or neuropathic causes.
It is usually difficult to treat because the main cause is not known. In most cases, it arises because of disorders like TMJ and others.
As the name implies, psychogenic pain is the type that is caused by psychological factors. In most cases, this can be due to anxiety, depression, or anything related.
It is known to be one of the most difficult chronic pains to treat because it has no physical origin. It is for this reason that it necessitates a combination of treatments like anti-depressants. Overall, patients will have to undergo counseling and avoid distractions as much as possible.
This pain like the nociceptive pain is caused by nerves but relatively differs in regard to how they function.
In the case of neuropathic pain, the nerves malfunction or just don’t function the way they are supposed to. The pain can easily be described as sharp or shooting.
A good example is felt by patients who suffer Sciatica issues, and this can arise due to nerve irritation, neuroma formation, or nerve damage.
This is a type of chronic pain that is often detected by the sensory nerves of the body. In most cases, the pain feels dull because of the nerves are not so spread in the internal organs where the pain emanates.
It is hard to localize necessitating specific treatment methods in order to eliminate the pain or problem. You can experience this type of pain when you have bladder issues, prostate problems, and endometriosis.
Chronic pain management
In order to exemplary treat and manage chronic pain, it needs an interdisciplinary team that focuses the root-causes of the problem.
The team should include; medical practitioners, physiotherapist, and experienced nurse practitioners, amongst much more who are well versed in the human anatomy.
In fact, the treatment of the patient will depend on the extent of the problem and what actually the patient is suffering from.
This pain is quite difficult to treat as the root–cause might not be easily discovered. For this reason, it requires a highly trained pain management team to offer lasting solutions.
In most cases, the specialist will use opioid treatment to counter the pain problem. However, this is not always a surefire way of treating as some patients tend not to improve. In fact, they might get worse day after day.
Additional treatment methods
There are other treatment methods that can be used to effectively treat chronic pain for patients who do not positively react to the opioid treatment.
These include acceptance therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. It all depends on the part of the body where the pain originates.
Overall, the treatment process is usually based on the neuropathic or tissue damage where chronic pain tends to originate in most patients.
It is a fact that most patients who suffer from chronic pain tend to exhibit signs and symptoms such as depression, anxiety, neuroticism, and heavy sleep disturbances.
Of course, these symptoms are correlated, but it has not yet been confirmed through research into what leads to the other.
Furthermore, patients have complained of forgetfulness and difficulty in completing tasks on time.
There are others who have issues with verbal ability, mental flexibility, and lack of speed in responding or reacting to things around the environment.
As a matter of fact, heart and respiratory diseases tend to be the main causes of chronic pain in patients. This has lead to an increased mortality rate across the board.
If left untreated, it can easily lead to death. As such, proper care, medication, and treatment must be offered to all persons that are experiencing any kind of chronic pain.
The best thing is that with advancements in technology, chronic pain is becoming more manageable with tools and equipment that able to pinpoint causes of the pain. This is why deaths caused by chronic pain have been drastically reduced.