Did you know that chronic pain (pain lasting for over three months) can also lead to mental illnesses? For example, it makes patients up to three times more likely to develop anxiety or depression. In addition, 30% to 50% of chronic pain patients also have either type of mental disorder.
Fortunately, most types of chronic pain are treatable; you only need to know what they are first.
This guide provides an overview of the most prevalent forms of chronic pain, so keep reading.
Arthritis is a chronic condition that causes joint swelling and tenderness. It affects 24% of the U.S. population or about 58.5 million individuals. One in four of these people also report experiencing severe joint pain.
Arthritis can take the form of osteoarthritis (OA) or rheumatoid arthritis (RA). OA is more common, resulting from age-related wear-and-tear damage to joint cartilage. RA is an autoimmune condition in which the body mistakenly attacks itself.
Healthcare industry studies estimate that 30% to 50% of adults experience neck pain in a year. Worse, 50% to 85% live with ongoing symptoms. Many patients even report symptoms lasting one to five years or more.
Falls, vehicle crashes, and sports accidents are some of the top causes of neck pain. Whiplash injury, in turn, is one of the most pervasive injuries that can lead to chronic cervical pain.
As many as 8% of the U.S. adult population, or 16 million adults, experience back pain that lasts for at least three months. That makes it among the most common types of chronic pain and a chief cause of work-loss days. Moreover, patients with this type of pain have 2.5 times more health care expenses than those who don’t have it.
Back pain can develop without a cause, but it can also result from poor posture or an accident. Either way, chronic pain management doctors can help identify the exact reason. They often do so through physical check-ups and diagnostic imaging tests.
Chronic muscle pain often results from myofascial pain syndrome (MPS). Indeed, between 30% and 85% of patients suffering from musculoskeletal pain have MPS. Some of them experience symptoms that last for many years.
Muscle pain can also arise from fibromyalgia, which causes widespread pain. It can affect any part of the body, from the head to the toes. So, it’s no wonder that this disorder also results in fatigue and sleep problems.
Neuropathic pain can result from neuropathy, a condition that afflicts the nerves. It often affects the spinal cord, but the pain can also come from the peripheral nerves. Moreover, neuropathic pain can affect any body part since it has to do with the nerves.
Hundreds of different diseases can lead to or contribute to neuropathy. However, almost one in three cases has to do with diabetes.
Beware These Types of Chronic Pain
Remember: many types of chronic pain can arise from poor habits and lifestyle choices. For instance, poor posture can make you more likely to experience back, muscle, neck, and nerve pain. It can even raise your odds of having arthritis and the debilitating pain it can cause.
So, before that happens, consider making healthier lifestyle choices. However, if you already have unbearable, long-lasting pain, seek medical help ASAP.
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