Studies show about 50 million people in the US suffer from chronic pain.
Besides being incredibly unpleasant and disruptive, researchers say all the time and effort we spend dealing with our chronic pain adds up to $80 Billion in lost wages every year.
Looks like chronic pain is expensive pain! So, if you’re suffering from pain it’s time to get educated and learn what’s really going on inside your body – it may even lead to a reduction in symptoms.
Keep reading to learn more about different types of chronic pain.
How Is Chronic Pain Different?
Pain that lasts more than three months is chronic. Chronic pain typically does not respond well to at-home remedies and should prompt a visit to a primary care physician or pain specialist.
Sometimes, chronic pain is simply residual pain from an injury or surgery. Other times, the causes of chronic pain are hard or impossible to identify.
Some people can easily function with their low levels of chronic pain, especially with assistance from a pain specialist. In extreme cases, chronic pain can become too overwhelming to function and become a disability.
Different kinds of chronic pain include neuropathic, somatic, and visceral.
This type of pain usually means the nerve cells or nervous system are damaged. Instead of indicating a specific injury, neuropathic pain is spontaneous, erratic, and seemingly unpredictable.
Neuropathic pain is usually caused by nerve damage, nerve irritation, or an abnormal growth of nerve tissue. This type of pain is often described as stabbing pain. It is shooting, sharp, electric, or burning.
Examples include diabetic neuropathy and post-amputation pain. Many pregnant women experience sciatica, a type of neuropathic pain, in the later stages of pregnancy. This type of neuropathic pain during pregnancy often resolves itself once the baby is born.
There are many methods of treating chronic pain. Some experimental chronic pain treatment like stem cell therapy are gaining popularity, and this relief can be more long-term than daily topical treatments.
This type of pain doesn’t indicate a problem with nerve cells but rather comes from the body accurately detecting pain in soft tissue, muscles, or other organs. Common types of nociceptive pain include headaches, arthritis, and fibromyalgia.
To be more specific, nociceptive pain is divided into categories: somatic and visceral pain.
When pain is coming from sensory nerves in soft tissue, muscles, or skin, this is called somatic pain. A person feels somatic pain when they break a bone, strain muscles in the neck or back, or if they have arthritis.
Visceral pain is a pain in the internal organs. A person might feel visceral pain if they have endometriosis, bladder problems, or appendicitis.
Treating Different Types of Chronic Pain
As you can see, each of these types of chronic pain indicates a different root cause and need unique forms of treatment. The treatment for sciatica during pregnancy will be very different from treating pain caused by fibromyalgia or a broken bone.
Living with chronic pain doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. For more helpful posts like this one, keep reading our blog!