So you're sitting at home or in the office and can't quite put your finger on why you don't feel like yourself. You're feeling fatigued, in pain, and irritable all day. You wonder if this is just "part of getting older," or it may be something more serious. These symptoms are happening to you because you may have chronic pain.
Chronic pain can affect anyone of any age and has no specific cause, which makes it even harder to diagnose. Chronic pain is often characterized by persistent, diffuse pain that lasts more than 3 months. The most common type of chronic pain is low back pain, but other areas of the body may also be affected.
Chronic pain is a serious issue that negatively impacts health and quality of life. Fortunately, help is available at our New Jersey pain management center to reduce chronic pain.
It's hard to tell whether or not you are dealing with chronic pain. That's why we've put together a list of the most common signs of chronic pain to give you an idea and start you on the path to recovery.
1. You're in Constant Pain
If you feel constant pain or discomfort and it's been going on for weeks or months, this could be a sign of chronic pain. The longer your symptoms last, the more likely they are to be caused by chronic pain rather than something else. If you've been dealing with constant discomfort for a long time, it could be time to see a doctor or other healthcare professional.
2. You're Experiencing Other Symptoms
If your pain isn't just localized to one area but is spreading and affecting other parts of your body, too, this could be a sign of chronic pain. For example, if you have headaches every day that are getting worse and worse over time, this could be an indication that you have chronic headaches caused by anxiety. Similarly, if you have joint pains all over your body because of arthritis, this could mean that arthritis has led to permanent damage that needs treatment before it gets worse.
3. Your Pain is Interfering with Your Daily Life
If you have difficulty completing tasks at home or work because of your pain, it is a sign that it's interfering with your daily life. This can include housework, cooking meals, exercise, and walking around the block — even just getting out of bed in the morning might be difficult due to your pain.
If you're having trouble getting out of bed, going to work, or enjoying activities that used to bring you joy because of your pain, then this may be a sign of chronic pain. It's important to work with a medical professional, so they can develop a treatment plan that works for you. You may need more than one type of treatment to relieve your pain.
4. You have Physical Limitations
Chronic pain can make it difficult to work or perform other normal activities of daily life. You may have chronic pain if you're experiencing persistent back or joint pain that limits your movement. For example, if you can no longer play sports or enjoy hobbies like hiking because of joint pain, this could be a sign of chronic illness.
If your condition is limiting your ability to move around freely or do things like climb stairs or bend over — even if you've been dealing with the condition for years — then it could be time to talk with a pain specialist about treatment options.
5. You have Poor Sleeping Habit
People who suffer from chronic pain often have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at night because they're in constant discomfort or worry about their condition worsening overnight while they're asleep (which rarely happens).
This makes it even more difficult to concentrate and function normally throughout the day. Sleep deprivation leads to daytime fatigue and irritability as well as increased stress levels — both of which can make a bad situation even worse.
6. You have Trouble Concentrating
If you're used to being able to concentrate on the task at hand, and now you find that your mind wanders frequently or gets stuck on certain thoughts or memories, this could be related to your chronic pain.
7. You Feel Tired All the Time
Chronic pain can sap your energy and make it hard for you to get through a normal day's activities. You may have trouble sleeping at night or waking up in the morning because of exhaustion from lack of sleep.
If you feel exhausted all the time and find yourself struggling to get through normal daily tasks, then this could be a sign of chronic pain. Your body is probably working harder than it should be because of the constant strain on muscles and joints from the pain.
8. Your Mood Changes Frequently
People with chronic pain often experience depression and anxiety as a result of their condition. These emotions may cause them to lash out at loved ones or other people who are trying to help them cope with their illness.
9. You Feel Depressed or Anxious
If you experience chronic pain, you may find yourself struggling with a number of other symptoms. While it's normal to feel sad or anxious about your pain and its impact on your life, chronic pain can also cause a range of other emotional problems, such as depression and anxiety. It's important to know the signs and symptoms of these conditions so that you can get the help you need.
Depression and anxiety are two psychological conditions that are closely related to chronic pain syndrome (CPS). Extreme feelings of sadness or fear characterize these mood disorders. They often go hand-in-hand with physical pain, which can make them even worse. In addition, both depression and anxiety can cause other health problems if left untreated, so it's vital that you seek help if you think you're experiencing either condition.
10. Your Pain Doesn't Respond to Self-Care Treatment
If you take over-the-counter medication for your chronic pain, but it isn't helping, this could be another sign that you have chronic pain rather than just occasional discomfort. If your condition isn't improving after self-care treatment, talk to a pain specialist about other treatment options that might work better for your condition.
If you have been dealing with chronic pain for a couple of years or longer, don't wait to seek professional help. Instead, you should consider visiting a New Jersey pain management specialist who can help you come up with a treatment plan and get your quality of life back on track.