Chronic Pain
Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pain can interrupt our work, recreation and relationships. Pain that doesn’t go away after six months is called chronic pain and can disrupt your life. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about chronic pain in today’s 60 Second Housecall.

When you first experience pain, it is a symptom of illness or injury in the part of your body that is having the pain. The sudden onset of pain is called acute pain. Chronic pain is pain that doesn’t go away after six months. It can keep you from doing your normal activities.

Any injury or illness that causes pain can also cause chronic pain. It can happen when an injury permanently damages your body. It could also be an abnormal nervous system response to injury. Chronic pain continues even after the illness is over or the injury has healed.

The goals of treatment are to improve your quality of life and decrease the pain—usually with medications such as painkillers or antidepressants—and therapy. Physical therapy and exercise can make your muscles stronger and reduce pain. Occupational therapy can teach you how to pace yourself in doing daily tasks or retrain you to do them.

Treatment may also include exercise, weight loss, lifestyle changes and getting regular sleep.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, I’m Dr. Edward Hill.