Suffering From Chronic Pain Is Not Easy.
What is chronic pain?
Just about everyone feels pain from time to time. When you cut your finger or pull a muscle, pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. Once the injury heals, you stop hurting.
But chronic pain is different. Your body keeps hurting weeks, months, or even years after the injury. Doctors often define chronic pain as any pain that lasts for 3 to 6 months or more.
One hundred and sixteen million – that’s the estimated number of Americans who suffer from chronic pain. That’s roughly a third of the entire population. According to the National Institutes of Health.
The Institute of Medicine estimates chronic pain costs the U.S. up to $635 billion a year in medical expenses. And a new study of the nation’s pharmacy records says the number of Americans filling prescriptions for opioid painkillers has declined. But the people who are getting those drugs are using them for longer.
What make you feel chronic pain?
The feeling of pain comes from a series of messages through your nervous system. When you hurt yourself, the injury turns on pain sensors in that area. They send a message in the form of an electrical signal, which travels from nerve to nerve until it reaches your brain. Your brain processes the signal and sends out the message that you hurt.
Usually the signal stops when the cause of the pain is resolved, your body repairs the wound on your finger or your torn muscle. But with chronic pain, the nerve signals keep firing even after you’ve healed.
What can cause chronic pain?
Chronic pain can be caused by many different factors. common causes are nerve damage and injuries that fail to heal properly some kinds of chronic pain have numerous causes.
The exact causes of chronic pain without injury are not well understood. The pain may sometimes result from an underlying health condition, such as:
- chronic fatigue syndrome: characterized by extreme, prolonged weariness that’s often accompanied by pain.
- endometriosis: a painful disorder that occurs when the uterine lining grows outside of the uterus.
- fibromyalgia: widespread pain in the bones and muscles.
- inflammatory bowel disease: a group of conditions that causes painful, chronic inflammation in the digestive tract.
- interstitial cystitis: a chronic disorder marked by bladder pressure and pain.
- temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ): a condition that causes painful clicking, popping, or locking of the jaw.
- vulvodynia: chronic vulva pain that occurs with no obvious cause.