Overview

Chronic pain is an ongoing or recurrent pain, lasting beyond the usual course of acute illness or injury or more than 3 to 6 months. The pain signals go on for weeks, months, or even years.

Causes

The original cause may have been an injury or infection, or there may be an ongoing cause of pain, such as arthritis. In some cases there is no clear cause.
Problems that cause chronic pain include:

  • Headache
  • Low back strain
  • Cancer
  • Arthritis
  • Pain from nerve damage

Symptoms

Symptoms of chronic pain include:

  • Pain that does not go away after an illness or injury as expected.
  • Pain that can be described as burning, aching or shooting.
  • Experience with discomfort, soreness, tightness and stiffness.

Other problems associated with pain include:

  • Sleeplessness
  • Fatigue
  • Withdrawal from activity
  • Increased need to rest
  • Weakened immune system
  • Disability
  • Changes in mood, including: depression, anxiety, fear, hopelessness, irritability and stress

Treatment

Unfortunately chronic pain cannot be cured in most cases, however, there are medications to help control the pain including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).