According to the Cleveland Clinic, chronic pain is pain that lasts three months or longer and can occur anywhere in the body. Pain does not have to be constant to be defined as chronic pain; the pain can be intermittent and may vary in frequency and severity.
Chronic pain differs significantly from acute pain. Acute pain is the pain that occurs when an individual gets hurt. Acute pain does not stick around for long and goes away after the body has healed the injury. Chronic pain, however, sticks around long after recovery from an injury or illness. Chronic pain may even begin for no apparent reason at all.
Having a chronic pain condition is not an uncommon problem. Nearly 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. Additionally, chronic pain is one of the most common reasons an individual seeks medical care.
What Do Chronic Pain Sufferers Deal With?
When someone is dealing with chronic pain, it can take a significant toll on all aspects of their life. Those dealing with chronic pain may find that their pain interferes with their ability to complete daily tasks, work, and care for themselves or their loved ones. It can also impact their social life. Not only does the pain interfere with an individual’s life, but chronic pain can also lead to depression and anxiety.
Common Myths and Stigmas Surrounding Chronic Pain
Some of the commonly heard stigmas regarding chronic pain include:
- “It’s all in your head; you must be exaggerating how bad it is.” Just because the pain cannot be seen on the outside, does not mean it is all in someone’s head.
- There has to be a physical cause for the pain. Chronic pain does not always have a specific physical area that it affects. Pain may be experienced widespread throughout the body with no one exact physical cause.
- “You were fine yesterday!” Chronic pain does not always mean daily pain or the same pain level daily.
- The pain will last forever. Once you have been diagnosed with chronic pain, that does not mean you will experience pain for the rest of your life. After experiencing pain for at least three months, a chronic pain diagnosis can be given. However, that does not mean it will be permanent.
With September being pain awareness month, hopefully, we can shed some light on an invisible but valid health issue.
Tips on Coping with Chronic Pain
To lessen the severity of chronic pain symptoms, you should try to:
- Stay active and exercise. It may seem counterintuitive, but movement can reduce pain levels. Taking a quick walk and moving your body can help lessen the pain.
- Practice relaxation techniques. Practicing deep breathing and muscle relaxation techniques can help reduce tension and pain.
- Track your daily pain level and activities every day. Tracking your pain daily can help you be more conscious of the activities and stressors that worsen your pain. Additionally, a pain log will help your doctor understand the type of pain you are dealing with.
Reducing stress is also helpful. Stress is known to intensify pain; finding ways to reduce stress can help alleviate your symptoms.
Contact an Attorney if Your Pain is the Result of Someone Else’s Negligence
If you were injured in a car accident or sustained a personal injury due to someone else’s negligence and you are experiencing pain that will not subside, seek medical treatment. Seeking prompt medical treatment ensures that your pain is treated but also creates evidence to help support your claim. Having established care with a medical professional and medical records can help strengthen your legal claim and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
If you sustained an injury caused by another and it has resulted in chronic pain, you may be able to seek compensation. Contact the experienced team of personal injury attorneys here at Charles E. Boyk so that we can assess and assist you with your case.