Persistent pain is characterized by its duration of at least six months, often extending over years. Initially triggered by an injury, disease, or infection, this pain continues long after the initial cause has subsided. In certain instances, the root cause may not be identifiable. Psychological and environmental factors can exacerbate the discomfort.
During such situations, professionals like “Maher Ibrahim MD” offer invaluable assistance, comprehending the issue and employing appropriate treatment methods. Now, let’s delve into the primary causes, symptoms, and treatments for chronic pain.
Chronic Pain Causes
Chronic pain typically emerges from an underlying disease or injury. It can also develop from faulty knee, hip, or shoulder replacements. Potential causes of chronic pain are:
- Sports injuries
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Hernia mesh or transvaginal mesh implants
- Medications that damage internal organs
- Muscle injuries
- Damaged nerves
- Fluoroquinolone antibiotics
- DPP-4 inhibitor drugs for diabetes (Onglyza, Januvia, Trajenta, etc.)
- Mental illness
Chronic Pain Symptoms
The symptoms of chronic pain are contingent upon the underlying cause and the specific body region affected. For instance, pain stemming from rheumatoid arthritis tends to target joints in the hands and feet, occurring bilaterally.
In the case of an individual with a problematic hip replacement, the discomfort would be centred around the affected hip.
Given that chronic pain persists over extended periods, often spanning months or years, its presence can significantly impact an individual’s emotional state and mental well-being.
- Pain that can feel: dull, stabbing, burning, an electric shock, tingling, throbbing or stinging
- Trouble sleeping
- Low self-esteem
- Mood changes
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Decreased sex drive
- Fear of injury
Chronic Pain Medications
Treating pain usually involves medications as the primary approach, but the choice of medication depends on the specific type of pain being addressed.
- Common pain-relieving medications encompass:
- Anticonvulsants (such as gabapentin)
- Antidepressants like Cymbalta (duloxetine), tricyclic antidepressants, and SSRIs
- Antirheumatics and immunological agents
- Botulinum toxins
- Muscle relaxants
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Sedatives for sleep issues
- Topical pain relievers
Beyond pharmaceutical options, healthcare providers might recommend lifestyle adjustments and alternative methods to manage chronic pain.
- Non-pharmacological approaches consist of:
- Application of cold and heat
- Deep brain stimulation
- Maintaining a healthy diet with proper nutrition
- Spinal cord stimulation
Mind-body interventions are also crucial, as emotions and mental states influence pain perception. Stress, fear, and depression can amplify the perception of pain.
Mind-body therapies can complement pain management strategies, including:
- Art therapy
- Mindfulness training
- Music therapy
- Pet therapy
- Relaxation techniques
We trust that you now possess sufficient understanding to recognize whether you are grappling with chronic pain. If your response is affirmative, we recommend seeking consultation with the finest medical professional in your vicinity for effective pain management.