Medical Definition of Chronic pain

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Chronic pain: Pain (an unpleasant sense of discomfort) that persists or progresses over a long period of time. In contrast to acute pain that arises suddenly in response to a specific injury and is usually treatable, chronic pain persists over time and is often resistant to medical treatments.

Chronic pain may be related to a number of different medical conditions including (but not limited to) diabetes, arthritis, migraine, fibromyalgia, cancer, shingles, sciatica, and previous trauma or injury. Chronic pain may worsen in response to environmental and/or psychological factors.

There are a variety of treatment options for people with chronic pain. The goal of pain management is to provide symptom relief and improve an individual's level of functioning in daily activities. A number of types of medications have been used in the management of chronic pain, including acetaminophen, ibuprofen, aspirin, COX-2 inhibitors, antimigraine medications, sedatives, opioids, and antidepressants. Nonpharmacologic treatments for chronic pain can include exercise, physical therapy, counseling, electrical stimulation, biofeedback, acupuncture, hypnosis, chiropractic medicine, and other treatments.

CONTINUE SCROLLING OR CLICK HERE FOR RELATED ARTICLE
Reviewed on 12/11/2018

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors