Chronic Muscle Pains

The simple definition of chronic pain is pain that has been present for greater than 12 weeks.

However, it can be more complex than that, and the best way to understand chronic pain is to learn about its cousin: acute pain. Acute pain is pain that comes on suddenly and lasts for a few weeks. Typically, acute pain is caused by some traumatic event that injures your body’s tissues.

If you smash your thumb with a hammer, for instance, this causes acute pain. The pain is sudden and severe, and you can easily discern the cause of it. Your thumb becomes red, swollen, and painful. Over the course of a few weeks, however, the pain goes away as your thumb heals.

Now imagine that you smash your thumb with a hammer again. Your thumb becomes red, swollen, and painful. This time, imagine your thumb pain continues long after the signs of injury have gone away. The tissues are clearly healed, but your thumb still hurts. When you try to move your hand, the pain increases. This is chronic pain.

Chronic pain can be confusing, and it can prevent you from moving normally and concentrating on your daily activities. Plus, dealing with chronic pain can leave you and your doctor perplexed.

Often times, pain occurs when there is little or no tissue damage. Why is the pain lasting long after the tissues are healed? Why are medicines not effective in treating your pain? Is there something really wrong? These questions may be difficult to answer, and finding the best treatment for your chronic pain may be equally difficult.

Treatments Types

There are many different treatments available for chronic pain. Finding the best one for you can take a little trial and error.

  • Physical therapy (PT)
  • Medication (oral or injected)
  • Supplements and natural remedies
  • Chiropractic care
  • Massage
  • Acupuncture
  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)

There are likely more items to add to this list, and you may find one remedy helpful while another may not be effective for your pain at all. Physical therapy may be an option to treat your chronic pain, and working with a physical therapist has been shown to help chronic pain sufferers improve their function while decreasing or eliminating their pain.