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When Does Your Pain Become Chronic?

When Does Your Pain Become Chronic?

Pain is an uncomfortable nervous system sensation that’s difficult to ignore, which is why your body uses it as a tool to let you know something is off. In most cases, once you identify and treat the cause of your pain, the sensation goes away. 

But some causes of pain don’t go away, even after treatment and healing. If you have pain that lasts three or more months, you have chronic pain. 

At Orthopedic & Wellness, our compassionate pain management physicians — Dr. Ojedapo‌ ‌Ojeyemi ‌and‌ Dr. Matthew Roh — specialize in treating and easing all types of pain conditions. But what happens when pain fails to go away? Here, we cover pain, when we consider your pain chronic, and how we can help.

Acute versus chronic pain

Acute and chronic pain are the two main types of pain. 

Acute pain is sudden and severe and usually occurs in response to an injury or illness. With this type of pain, we can easily find the cause and provide the right treatment. In general, acute pain resolves within days or weeks.

If you have pain that lasts three or more months, whether the pain is constant or comes and goes, you have chronic pain. You can develop chronic pain following an acute injury or illness, or the pain may occur from an underlying condition or disease. 

What causes chronic pain?

Why you continue to have pain isn’t always clear. Ongoing pain following an injury or illness may occur because your pain signals remain active even after the healing process. It’s not unusual for people with an acute neck or back injury to develop chronic neck pain or back pain

Some chronic health conditions — like arthritis, migraines, and fibromyalgia — cause chronic pain.

No matter the cause, we know that your chronic pain makes it difficult to sleep, eat, and move around. It also affects how you feel and live your life, leading to additional health problems like depression and anxiety.

Relieving chronic pain

When it comes to treating chronic pain, no single method works for everyone. Before making any recommendations, we first need to fully understand your pain and how it affects your life. We also try to identify the source of your discomfort so we can target our treatment.

Treatment for chronic pain may include a combination of interventions such as medications, physical therapy, or injections. We provide spinal cord stimulation for our patients who fail to get relief from their pain from less invasive interventions. We also offer platelet-rich plasma (platelet-rich plasma (PRP), a type of precision medicine that helps support the body’s natural healing process.

Chronic pain is complicated, but it doesn’t have to dictate how you live your life. If you have ongoing pain for three or more months, now is the time to take action.

Schedule a consultation with our pain management experts today — we’re located in Frederick, Germantown, or Waldorf, Maryland — by calling the office near you or booking an appointment online.

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