Chronic pain describes any type of persistent pain that carries on for longer than 12 weeks despite the use of medication or application of treatment methods. Chronic illness refers to the personal experience and mental health symptoms that accompany the physical symptoms.
The American Academy of Pain Medicine states that more than 1.5 billion people around the world experience chronic pain. In the United States, it is considered the most common cause of long-term disability, affecting about 100 million Americans each year.
The most common types of chronic pain include:
Chronic pain is usually caused by an injury, and medical professionals believe that it develops after severe nerve damage, which makes pain more intense and longer-lasting. In these cases, treating the root injury may not heal chronic pain.
However, in some cases, people have chronic pain without any prior injury, and the exact causes aren’t always well understood. The pain can be a result of an underlying health condition, such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome(CFS), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), or Interstitial Cystitis.
Chronic pain can have strong physical and psychological effects and can significantly diminish the quality of life. When chronic pain interferes with day-to-day activities, it can take a negative toll on self-esteem and make people feel frustrated, anxious, angry, depressed, and helpless. According to one study, 77% of individuals who suffer from chronic pain report feeling depressed.
Constant pain may prevent an individual from participating in everyday activities, such as physical exercise, working, and socializing. This can cause feelings of guilt and anger.
Chronic pain can last several months and up to years when left unmanaged. It can limit mobility and reduce strength, flexibility, and endurance. Once the pain lasts for more than 12 weeks, and daily tasks and activities become challenging to achieve, then it is time to seek treatment for chronic pain and any illnesses related to it.
If you feel that your mental health is suffering due to chronic pain and if you are experiencing symptoms of Anxiety and Depression, then it is time to consider seeking professional help so you can start learning how to manage your symptoms.
Chronic pain in adults can be a result of an underlying injury or a related illness. Adults who live with chronic pain have a higher risk of developing mental health concerns, as the pain prevents them from living social and active lives. While there is no exact treatment for chronic pain in adults, treatment teams turn to pain management so that they can overcome challenges that arise when dealing with pain.
Chronic pain in adults is common in the United States, so much so that it accounts for up to $635 billion each year in lost productivity and medical bills. In fact, 84% of high-impact chronic pain patients are unable to work outside the home. With the aging population, an increase in diabetes, and an increase in cancer survival rates, chronic pain in adults is expected to increase year after year. About 65% of adults aged 65 and older experience chronic pain, and 75% of cancer patients live with chronic pain.
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