Each time you experience pain, it is the result of communication between your brain, nerves, and spinal cord. Depending on the underlying cause, individuals can experience a variety of pain types, the most common being chronic and short-term pain.
Developing a deeper understanding of the difference between chronic and short-term (acute) pain will make it easier to discuss treatment options with your healthcare provider.
What is Chronic Pain
When someone is experiencing pain, their body is signalling that something is wrong. However, chronic pain is different from acute pain. For example, acute pain lets you know that an injury has occurred and needs addressing, whereas chronic pain can last for weeks or even up to years and can be much more elusive to treat.
Even though the original cause may have been an injury or infection, chronic pain may be an ongoing issue. For example, the original reason for the pain could have been an accident or illness but you could still be experiencing discomfort many months after the original incident. On the other hand, your physician may also not be able to find a definitive cause for your chronic pain.
Chronic pain is defined as:
- Pain lasting longer than six months.
- Pain that is occurring in addition to the original health issue.
Chronic pain over time can become independent of the underlying illness or injury and therefore, any attempts to address chronic pain by only treating the underlying illness may fail to completely solve the problem.
Chronic Pain vs. Short Term Pain
When someone is experiencing acute short-term pain, they typically experience the pain as sudden and, under most circumstances, find that it is the result of an injury or infection. Usually, acute pain will go away once the underlying cause is determined and won’t last longer than six months.
Chronic pain lasts longer than six months, and sometimes, even when the underlying cause of the injury or infection heals, the pain continues. This kind of pain can range from mild to severe and is currently affecting approximately 50 million adults throughout the country.
Causes of Chronic Pain
Many factors could contribute to an individual experiencing chronic pain. Under most circumstances, the normal aging process has conditions that could affect an individual’s bones and joints and lead to chronic pain. Some other individuals may have injuries and nerve damage that may not have healed adequately.
Another contributing cause of chronic pain could be disease. Fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis rank high on this list. However, other conditions, including AIDS, chronic back pain, cancer, gallbladder disease, multiple sclerosis, and stomach ulcers have also been known to cause chronic pain.
It’s tricky for healthcare providers to find the precise cause of chronic pain in some situations. Even though it originates with an illness or injury, that doesn’t mean other problems aren’t developing once the original illness or injury heals. Therefore, chronic pain can become a complex mystery to untangle.
How Midsouth Pain Can Help
A wide variety of treatments are available for treating chronic pain. Instead of depending on medication or undergoing surgical procedures, the pain management teams at our centers are here to help. They’ll work with you toward evaluating and pinpointing the cause of your chronic pain. Then, they’ll devise a plan that’s individual for you that can experience continuous modifications until you experience full relief.
We’ll discuss the following chronic pain treatments with you:
This treatment is a holistic solution that helps promote circulation and movement while reversing the effects of a sedentary life. Those who are suffering from chronic pain benefit from this gentle health technique for targeting pain.
Many people throughout the United States receive chiropractic care to help relieve their chronic pain. This treatment generally involves spinal manipulation although chiropractors use a variety of techniques to help you find relief from chronic pain. Depending on the type of chiropractic care, this process can involve forceful manual manipulation of the joints. Once complete, these treatments may relieve chronic pain and muscle tightness.
Minimally Invasive Spine Therapy:
Our treatment facility offers a wide variety of minimally invasive spinal surgery (MISS) treatments for chronic pain. They include:
- Tubular Retractor: This type of surgery is most often used for small procedures, but can also offer relief for neck and upper back issues.
- Kyphoplasty: Spinal compression fractures caused by injuries, cancer, or osteoporosis can be helped by this treatment.
- HF10 Therapy: A kind of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) that can help chronic back and leg pain.
Because chronic pain is such a wide-spread issue, a variety of different treatments are also available. They include the following:
Treating chronic pain at home isn’t uncommon. Some patients find relief using ice packs or a heating pad, as well as by taking over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers. These include aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen.
Undergoing physical therapy involves seeing a trained therapist. They’ll work with you to help you feel relief in the affected area of your body. For example, if you’re experiencing chronic back pain, they’ll use techniques or massage to help loosen the muscles around your spine. Physical therapy also includes exercises you’ll perform during each session, as well as at home.
This procedure traces back to Ancient Chinese healing practices and can be used for relieving chronic pain throughout your body. When an individual is experiencing energy blockages in the high points of their body, Chinese medicine states chronic pain is the result. Therefore, acupuncture is administered as a treatment where thin needs are inserted underneath the skin as a way of unblocking this energy.
What to Do Next
We’re here to help at each of our MidSouth Pain Treatment Centers in Tennessee and Mississipi. No one wants to let chronic pain prevent them from leading their best life. One of our board-certified interventional pain management physicians is ready to help provide you with a solution to the chronic pain you’re experiencing. Because MidSouth Pain Treatment Center is recognized as a leader in the field of pain management, you can trust we’ll find the source of your pain and work with you to develop a plan to get you the relief that you deserve. Click here to request a consultation today.