If you have ever suffered an injury and felt unbelievable pain, you may have an inkling of what chronic pain is like, but without the endurance part of it. Acute pain is the term medical professional refer to when a person suffers sudden pain as a result of injury or illness. They can actually see or diagnose the cause of the pain and help the patient recover relatively quickly.
What is it?
Doctors are often as stymied by the patients suffering as the patient is. The descriptions patients give their doctors regarding their pain can run the gamut in severity and length of time. For some the pain is mild or excruciating, episodic or constant, merely uncomfortable or totally incapacitating. The pain is not limited to physical maladies. Because of the longer term pain or more frequent occurrence patients often suffer emotional pain as well.
This type of pain is not limited to specific parts of the body. Some patients report headaches that are unrelenting or become worse. Joint pain is often diagnosed as tendinitis. Some pain results from other injuries that the body seems to never recover from such as back injuries. In many cases the patient suffers from a suppressed immune system that can lead to other illnesses that may in turn cause the patient to develop emotional related conditions such as depression and anxiety.
What other illnesses are diagnosed?
Sometimes people refer to this type of pain as invisible and hard to pinpoint. That is because it is not limited to any one definable diagnosis or any particular treatment. Some treatments work well for individuals, while they may not work for others. Some people describe their pain as occasional eruptions while others feel pain at all times with a precursor.
Due to the indefinability and the often difficult to perceive pain of individuals, some people do not understand or even believe that such pain exists or they tell a person that it is “all in their head.” It may even be true if their pain is neuropathic, so it is unfair to accuse a person of imagining their suffering for attention.
Some of the illnesses that are defined at chronic due to long term pain include:
* Chronic fatigue syndrome
* Inflammatory bowel disease
These illnesses are hard to pin down due the variety of symptoms. Because of this, doctors often try multiple treatments to find the right path for their patients. Some patients are more receptive or prefer not to use medicinal approaches, while others prefer medication.
Some of the treatments offered for chronic pain include ancient methods while others use more recent technology to help suffering individuals find some relief:
* Brain stimulation
* Behavioral modification
* Local electrical stimulation
* Relaxation methods
Some doctors have been known to use placebos that appear to work for some individuals. This does not mean that the pain did not truly exist. Rather, it may mean that the pain was psychological in nature and the patient found relief by feeling better about his condition. There is no way to really know how the brain experiences pain; therefor there is no way to ascertain why the placebo appears to work for some, but not all, patients who suffer this type of pain.
When a patient comes to the doctor with acute pain as a result of an accident or illness that doctor is usually able to prescribe a treatment and the patient gets better quickly. But with chronic pain there is usually more than one cause or the cause cannot be easily noted, so a treatment team that includes medical caregivers, clinical psychologists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists work together to find a cause and solution for the patients pain.