Pain management clinics are becoming a more common feature of cities everywhere. They exist to help people suffering from chronic pain either reduce or eliminate that pain through a variety of treatment modalities including medication, physical therapy, acupuncture, massage, and other approaches. In some cases, surgery may be required and clinics can either refer the patient to the best hospital or surgeon for the procedure or perform it themselves. But what is chronic and what are the causes of it?
Chronic pain is generally defined as pain that has not resolved in a period of three months, regardless of the cause. This long-term misery can be caused by a wide range of things including car accidents, sports injuries, falls and other household incidents as well as many different medical conditions. There are too many different conditions that cause chronic pain to list in one brief article, but here are some of the main ones.
Medical Conditions that Cause Chronic Pain
- Trigeminal Neuralgia is one of the most painful conditions: It causes sharp, electrical shooting pain in the face that lasts for several seconds. It can be triggered by simple, daily activities such as brushing your teeth or washing your face, and sufferers can experience several attacks a day. This condition affects primarily older women and is caused by something, usually a blood vessel, pressing on a nerve near the brain stem.
- There are two main forms of arthritis: Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Both cause chronic joint pain. Osteoarthritis can be brought about by increased age or increased weight – or both – as well as injury. Rheumatoid arthritis can strike at any age regardless of the patient’s overall physical condition; it is an autoimmune disorder.
- Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that primarily affects women of African, Asian and Native American descent. In addition to chronic pain, it also causes fatigue, skin rashes, low-grade fever, poor circulation, and hair loss.
- Diabetic Neuropathy causes a chronic problem that is rarely severe but can interfere with normal daily activities and one’s enjoyment of life. Peripheral neuropathy mostly affects the legs and feet and causes tingling and numbness as well as pain. Autonomic neuropathy involves the digestive system.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome came to public attention when office workers began spending more and more time at the keyboard. It is caused when the nerve that passes through the wrist is pressed by swollen tendons or when the nerve swells.
These are some, but not all, of the medical conditions that cause chronic pain. Whatever its cause, the chronic problem is miserable to live with and negatively affects a person’s quality of life. But nearly always relief can be found through modern management practices. Doctors who specialize in treating chronic pain can make an enormous difference in the lives of their patients, regardless of the cause of chronic pain. If you are experiencing pain that has not gone away for more than three months, it’s time to find a pain clinic and reclaim your life.