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Chronic pain may arise from an initial injury, such as a back sprain, or there may be an ongoing cause, such as illness. However, there may also be no clear cause. Other health problems, such as fatigue, sleep disturbance, decreased appetite, and mood changes, often accompany chronic pain. Chronic pain may limit a person’s movements, which can reduce flexibility, strength, and stamina. This difficulty in carrying out important and enjoyable activities can lead to disability and despair.

Diagnosis

Pain is a very personal and subjective experience. There is no test that can measure and locate pain with precision.  So, health professionals rely on the patient’s own description of the type, timing, and location of pain. Defining pain as sharp or dull, constant or on-and-off, or burning or aching may give the best clues to the cause of the pain. These descriptions are part of what is called the pain history, taken during the start of the evaluation of a patient with pain.

Since chronic pain may occur in a variety of locations in the body and for many different reasons, patients and their health professionals need to work together to identify the causes and symptoms of that pain and how it can be relieved.

Although technology can help health professionals form a diagnosis, the best treatment plans are tailored to the person, with input from healthcare team members, who each have different training backgrounds and understand chronic pain. The person with pain and his or her loved ones also must be actively involved in the treatment.

Treatment

With chronic pain, the goal of treatment is to reduce pain and improve function, so the person can resume day-to-day activities. Patients and their healthcare providers have a number of options for the treatment of pain. Some are more effective than others. Whatever the treatment plan, it is important to remember that chronic pain usually cannot be cured, but it can be managed. The following treatments are among the most common ways to manage pain.

Medications, acupuncture, electrical stimulation, nerve blocks, or surgery are some treatments used for chronic pain.

 Less invasive;  psychotherapy, relaxation therapies, biofeedback, and behaviour modification may also be used to treat chronic pain. The most effective approach is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Chronic Pain (CBT-CP) is an approach rooted in the development of a strong therapeutic relationship that encourages clients to adopt an active, problem-solving approach to cope with the many challenges associated with chronic pain. The focus of CBT-CP is to improve the individual’s quality of life and functioning across several domains.

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Chronic pain is often defined as any pain lasting more than 12 weeks. Whereas acute pain is a normal sensation that alerts us to possible injury, chronic pain is very different. Chronic pain persists—often for months or even longer.

Chronic Pain