What do you think of when you hear the term “chronic pain?”
Perhaps, like many Americans, you think of the back pain you deal with on a daily basis, or the significant other who no longer enjoys their favorite hobbies because of constant pain.
According to the American Chronic Pain Association, chronic pain is, “ongoing or recurrent pain, lasting beyond the usual course of acute illness or injury or more than 3 to 6 months, and which adversely affects the individual’s well-being.”
Affecting around 100 million Americans, chronic pain varies in intensity and frequency. If you feel any kind of noticeable pain for more than 3-6 months, you are suffering from chronic pain. Pain can originate from a wide variety of sources such as joint pain, headaches, back pain, or injury.
If you have ever worried that you are experiencing chronic pain, you can start by asking yourself these questions:
- Am I constantly feeling any level of pain, mild to severe?
- Am I experiencing any aching, shooting, or burning types of pain?
- Do I have extended feelings of soreness, stiffness, or tightness?
Additionally, watch for less obvious symptoms such as psychological struggles which are common with chronic pain. These include fatigue, mood changes, stress, anxiety, depression, irritability, or restless nights of sleep.
If you are worried that you are experiencing chronic pain, it is in your best interests to contact a pain management specialist immediately. Ask your primary care physician about a referral to the UnityPoint Health - Pekin Pain Management Center or call 309-353-0721 to learn more.