What is Chronic Pain?


What do you think of when you hear the term “chronic pain?” Chronic pain affects almost 100 million Americans, and is an important condition to identify and treat.

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 three to six months, and which adversely affects the individual’s well-being.”

Chronic pain varies in intensity and frequency. Some experience chronic pain constantly while others only feel it in episodes.

If you feel any kind of consistent pain for six months, you most likely are suffering from chronic pain. Pain can originate from a wide variety of sources. When it comes to chronic pain, the main sources are:

  • Joint pain
  • Headaches
  • Back pain
  • Injury related pain
You might be experiencing chronic pain, if you are experiencing these symptoms:
  • Constantly feeling any level of pain, mild to severe
  • Aching, shooting, or burning types of pain
  • Extended feelings of soreness, stiffness, or tightness
Aside from the obvious physical issues caused by chronic pain, many individuals also report psychological struggles, such as fatigue, mood changes, stress, anxiety, depression, irritability, or restless nights of sleep.

If you are worried that you are experiencing chronic pain, ask your primary care provider about a referral to Allegan General Hospital’s Pain Management Center or call (269) 686-4300 to learn more.

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