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Chronic pain is typically easy to diagnose when experienced. Occurring anywhere in the body, whether in the joints, muscles or other locations, chronic pain is a sharp pain that can last for months, if not years, and usually will impair motion. Chronic pain can also come from any number of injuries or ailments, which makes uncovering the specific source a little more difficult.
Mild to severe sprains or broken bones are often culprits of chronic pain, though other ailments such as arthritis, bursitis or gout can cause chronic pain as well. Improperly treated strains or injuries may also result in chronic pain over time, which makes chronic pain far more likely as you get older.
Chronic pain can be very serious and should not be taken lightly, especially when considering that chronic pain is often indicative of a larger medical problem. Chronic pain, if left untreated over time, can also lead to chronic pain syndrome (CPS), which will not only impair movement but also lead to mental issues such as anxiety or even depression. Furthermore, though not commonly discussed, CPS is known to result in damaged interpersonal relationships through the isolation of the pained individual.
Chronic pain is often treated with prescription medication, though patients will always want to be wary of forming any substance addictions. Moreover, once CPS begins to set in, patients will need a more rigorous treatment plan to overcome their pain.
Generally speaking, a good chronic pain management program will look to reduce the amount of chronic pain while alleviating medication dependence and any mental issues resulting from CPS. The goal is to get the patient back to the physical and emotional level they were at prior to the pain.