When you feel physical pain, you are experiencing your body’s natural reaction to an injury or illness. It’s the way your nerves send a warning to your brain that something isn’t right.
Pain will typically go away once the cause of the pain is gone or has healed – but chronic pain is different. Chronic pain is perpetual, lasting long after the initial cause of it.
Pain is considered chronic pain if it lasts longer than 6 months. It can be emotionally and physically taxing to experience pain throughout your days and nights, without the ability to find any relief.
It’s important to know that there are many options and long-term solutions to managing your chronic pain.
The Science of Chronic Pain
A series of electric pulses send messages back and forth through your nervous system. Following an injury, the pain sensors “spark.” Electrical signals, travel from nerve to nerve until it reaches your brain.
Your brain then processes the electric signal and sends out the message “OW! That’s painful.” Normally, when the cause of the pain is fixed the pain subsides and eventually disappears.
That paper cut no longer stings, the place where the bruise was no longer tender. However, for people with chronic pain, the nerve signals keep generating despite being healed.
What Causes Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain can affect men and women of all ages, even children. While some issues with chronic pain can seemingly happen overnight, most people recognize the onset from an injury or because of a health condition.
Some of the leading causes are from past injuries or surgeries, especially if it caused nerve damage. Tensions and inflammations in the body can include back pain, migraines and other headaches, or arthritis. Fibromyalgia causes people to feel muscle pain throughout their entire bodies.
Symptoms of Chronic Pain
The pain threshold can vary from mild to severe. Even one person may feel various levels of pain throughout the course of one day. Pain can be touch-and-go, or constant.
Many patients report their pain feeling like a dull ache, throbbing, or soreness. Others report sensations of burning, stinging, or stiffness.
Enduring this pain every day can cause individuals to feel fatigued, weak, and restless. They may lose their appetite, feel very moody, or even get depressed.
What to Do About Chronic Pain
While the easiest solution for pain management may be painkillers and opioids, these are not exactly the safest. Drugs can be very addicting, and they only mask the pain for a short period of time. The tolls of these medications are often more than the payoff of being pain-free for just a few hours.
Therefore, more and more people are becoming interested in other forms of pain management that are holistic, minimally invasive, or both.
Contact a Pain Specialist in Austin, TX
If you’re struggling with chronic pain, we can help. Our team at Balcones Pain Consultants offers caring and experienced pain management in the Austin area. Our pain specialists include board-certified surgeons who are there to help you on your journey to wellness.
Call us today at (512) 834-4141 for an appointment at one of our convenient locations in Austin, Cedar Park, and Marble Falls. You can also fill out our simple online appointment request form right now to get started. Let us help you live a more pain-free, enjoyable, active lifestyle again.