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7 Things We Should All Know About Chronic Pain

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September is pain awareness month. Pain comes in all sorts of severities, causes, and lengths. Pain can be severe or it can be minor. Pain can be acute or it can be chronic. It can be caused by an injury or it could be caused by a genetic condition. In the end, all pain is the same in that it hurts. There’s no way around it.

Chronic pain is a very misunderstood symptom that many are unfamiliar with, despite there being thousands of people who live with it. Here are seven things I want you to know about chronic pain during pain awareness month, and throughout every other month.

1. Chronic pain affects the whole person

Everyone knows pain is a very physical symptom. Imagine being in pain 24/7. That would not only affect you physically, it would also affect you emotionally and mentally. Pain can cause depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and much more.

2. Chronic can change on a day to day basis.

Pain can even change on a minute to minute basis. Just because somebody feels fine one day, they may feel awful the next. With chronic pain though, people usually feel pain every single day or varying severeness.

3. Chronic pain is invisible.

Everybody has heard the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Just because a person looks healthy, that doesn’t mean that they feel 100 percent. People with chronic pain are very good at hiding their pain and emotions.

4. Chronic pain doesn’t judge.

Chronic pain can strike at any age, can affect any gender, any race, and any status. Yes, there are children that live in pain everyday – as well as adults.

5. Chronic pain not only impacts the patient, but also the caretakers.

It’s hard to live with chronic pain, but it’s also hard to see someone you love in pain. Pain has been proven to hurt those taking care of the patient in pain, both emotionally and physically.

6. People with chronic pain are not drug seekers.

Patients just want relief, they don’t want drugs. For many chronic pain disorders, opioids don’t even help so they don’t even want medications.

7. Chronic pain is different for everyone.

Each chronic pain disorder has different symptoms and different types of pain. Chronic regional pain syndrome pain is often burning, fibromyalgia is often nerve pain, and arthritis often causes a bone pain. There are hundreds of more disease with pain that is different from someone else’s pain.

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Thinkstock Image By: yngsa

Originally published: September 19, 2017
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