5 Ways to Know When Pain Is Chronic

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1061146_peacefulAccidents, illness and growth prompt pain receptors to ignite.

Aches and pains visit bodies young and old. Pain, we’ve been told, tells a story with  . . .  a beginning (cause) . . . middle (healing) . . .  and ending (conclusion of pain).

But sometimes the story becomes muddled and confused. There is no recognizable theme, no point. And no conclusion.

The pain persists beyond explanation. Pain, the silent, sneaky, and invisible intruder, shows no identifiable tell-tale sign of its existence.

If a cause can’t be found for the pain, is the body really hurting?

Although chronic pain may be hard to diagnose there are five characteristics that signal when pain has become chronic.[1]

  1. Your pain doesn’t go away after six months.
  2. You’ve had lots of medical “workups,” and yet no cause for the pain has been identified.
  3. You’ve tried lots of different medicines to control your pain, and yet the pain doesn’t go away.
  4. You may have undergone numerous surgeries, and yet your pain still doesn’t go away.
  5. You’ve visited doctors or other health providers over and over again in an attempt to find relief, but your search for relief has been futile.

Even though chronic pain is often difficult to treat and even if no diagnosis is given, it is important to seek medical help . . .

  • To learn how to manage the pain and prevent more damage to the body.
  • To learn new coping skills and receive emotional support. 

Action Step. Is it time to take action regarding your pain? What can you do to support someone with chronic pain?

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    [1]Stuart S.  Kassan, Chronic Pain for Dummies. Hoboken: Wiley Publishing, 2008, p. 10.

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