When Does Pain Become Chronic?

Pain, while far from pleasant, is a very necessary part of human existence. It is, in fact, an important biological warning sign. After all, it is the body’s way of telling us that something may be wrong. In some cases, however, this pain sticks around long after the initial injury has healed. If this sounds familiar to you, you may be suffering from chronic pain.

It may be difficult to tell the difference between normal pain and chronic pain, especially if you have not suffered from chronic pain before in the past. Continue reading to learn more about when pain becomes officially considered chronic.

When does pain become chronic?

Chronic pain is any pain that lasts for a period of at least six months. Unlike normal (or “acute”) pain, chronic pain probably will require treatment from a healthcare professional to find relief. Chronic pain is often the result of an underlying condition or injury, but may still be present even after it has healed.

Some researchers estimate that nearly one in every four adults in the United States suffers from some form of chronic pain.

Some of the more common causes of chronic pain include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Cancer
  • Nerve pain (neuropathy)
  • Back pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Arthritis

What is acute pain?

Acute pain is normal pain, the most common type of pain. Unlike chronic pain, it is the result of a condition or injury and will heal in time with the original injury. Acute pain has a fast onset and often heals just as fast as it came on. It can be treated with over-the-counter medications, like ibuprofen, or other treatments, like physical therapy.

Common causes of acute pain include the following:

  • Surgery
  • Dental work
  • Cuts or burns
  • Broken bones
  • Labor and childbirth

How do you treat chronic pain?

The chief concern of chronic pain treatment is to reduce your pain enough to give you the opportunity to return to normal life.

Since chronic pain is not an actual condition, but is instead more akin to symptoms themselves, treatment for chronic pain must be personalized to each individual and their symptoms.

Ketamine for Chronic Pain Treatment

Ketamine was first approved by the FDA for use as an anesthetic, but it has also found significant use as a pain reliever over the years, with many organizations now recommending it for the treatment of chronic pain conditions.

Research into ketamine infusions for treating pain is still ongoing, but it is generally believed that ketamine helps to foster connections between synapses and restore damaged nerve connections, essentially “rewiring” the brain. Ketamine infusions may be particularly effective at not only treating the pain symptoms of Chronic Pain Syndrome, but also the additional depression and anxiety symptoms.

The recent FDA approval of Spravato (a ketamine-based nasal spray for treatment-resistant depression), as well as the development of new psychedelics research centers by John Hopkins, may indicate a shift in the chronic pain treatment industry, providing innovative new options like ketamine infusion to those who experience persistent and treatment-resistant chronic pain.

Contact us today to learn if this innovative new treatment is right for you.

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