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Chronic Pain
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What is Chronic Pain?

Pain is by definition, an unpleasant sensory or emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage. Chronic Pain is any pain that lasts longer than the expected healing time and continues despite outward signs of injury. Anywhere 3 to 12 months post injury can be considered the transition point from acute to chronic pain. Chronic pain can be present in any part of the body and can have negative effects on physical functioning, the ability to work, personal relationships, sleep, mood and overall well-being. Chronic pain is a debilitating condition that effects over 116 million Americans and costs over $635 billion a year in treatment and loss of productivity in the work place annually. Common chronic pain ailments include back pain, neck pain, carpal tunnel...

Why do we have pain?

The cause of Chronic pain, or pain that won't go away even when an injury has healed in not fully understood. The brain and it's neurotransmitters are largely responsible for our experience of pain and it is believed that the pathways that facilitate and modulate pain have gone awry.

Your perception or processing of pain by the nervous system is called Nociception. There can be many causes of pain, from injury, to chemical substances or hot or cold stimuli that can irritate our nerve endings called Nociceptors. Nociceptors are found in every tissue in the body except for the brain (your brain tissue actually can’t feel pain). These nerve fibers activate when we experience a painful event (stubbing your toe) and send pain signals up the spinal...

Symptoms and Complications

  • Aching, burning, sharp, shooting, or burning
  • Loss of physical functioning
  • Loss of work/productivity
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Reduced brain Gray matter
  • Cognitive impairments (i.e forgetfulness, slowed reaction time)
  • Fear of further injury or pain (Fear Avoidance)
  • Increased sensitivity to non-painful stimuli
  • Abuse and addiction to pain medication
  • Increased medical costs Overall decline in health

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