Updated: Jun 5
Aches and pains are a normal part of our life, and most people experience them at some point. However, while our bodies are designed to feel everyday aches and pains, common aches and pains, there are times when you might need to visit a pain management NYC center.
That's because, in small doses, discomfort is a reminder that something needs our attention. Whether it's a scratchy throat or a tight neck, this feeling helps us remember to take care of our body in order to prevent bigger problems.
Chronic pain is a debilitating condition that affects millions of Americans, including many young people. The difference between chronic pain and normal discomfort can be subtle and hard to decipher, especially for those suffering from both pain and discomfort.
When you are experiencing pain in your back, neck, or shoulders, it can lead to more than just chronic discomfort — it can lead to an even more serious condition known as chronic pain. Chronic back pain refers to persistent aches and pains that come and go without an obvious underlying cause.
If you're concerned that you or someone you love is suffering from chronic pain, there are certain signs and symptoms that typically distinguish chronic pain from normal discomfort. And knowing the difference is the first step to getting relief.
You may have difficulty distinguishing between normal discomfort and severe pain that requires treatment. If you're unsure whether your pain is chronic or not, consider these common signs:
Is the pain constant, or does it come and go?
The key to determining whether your pain is chronic is to look at its duration and intensity. If you've had pain for three months or more and it's not improving, chances are you have chronic pain. But if your pain comes and goes, it's probably not chronic. You might be dealing with a flare-up or other temporary condition instead.
When dealing with chronic pain, you'll notice that it's present every day and not just in response to an injury or illness. Chronic pain doesn't go away when you stop the activity that caused it. It also isn't related to a specific injury or accident. Chronic pain can happen to anyone at any time, and it's often linked to an emotional issue or mental health condition.
In contrast, normal discomfort is temporary pain that goes away after you stop doing whatever caused it. For example, if you have a sprained ankle, that's normal discomfort because it goes away once the ankle heals. If you have back pain that comes on when you lift something heavy, that's also normal discomfort because it goes away once you stop lifting heavy things.
Is the pain limiting your activity?
Chronic pain makes it difficult to participate in activities that were once enjoyable. You may have chronic pain if you find yourself avoiding certain activities because of your discomfort. For example, if playing sports used to be fun but now causes more discomfort than enjoyment for you, then it's time to see a pain specialist about pain management options.
People who have chronic pain often have trouble doing daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, and cooking because they don't want to move around too much because of their pain. They may also avoid social activities because they don't want to put themselves in situations where they might hurt themselves further by moving around too much.
If you have chronic pain, it may be helpful to keep track of your symptoms and how they affect your life. This can help you and your care team figures out what treatment works best for you.
Is the pain overwhelming, or can you deal with it?
Chronic pain is often described as disabling or excruciating. It is often much more intense than normal discomfort and can be hard to pinpoint. In addition, the pain interferes with your ability to do daily activities and can make it hard for you to get a good night's sleep.
Chronic pain may be described as:
Nagging, and doesn't go away or lessen when you take a break from it (for example, when you sleep or rest)
Intense and constant, even if it fluctuates in intensity
Uncomfortable, but not unbearable — meaning you can still function with it
Worsens over time
May occur after an injury, but it can also start for no apparent reason
Often begins in one part of the body and spreads to other areas, such as from your back to your neck or legs
Can interfere with your ability to work, sleep and enjoy life
Can have an impact on every aspect of your life — both physically and emotionally
Chronic pains can be excruciating and disruptive, but it is possible to control the pain and live a normal life. With the right pain management plan, you don't have to suffer in silence. Talk to a pain specialist today if you think you are suffering from chronic pain.
Are there specific activities that trigger or worsen the pain?
Do you experience pain before or during certain activities? Is there a pattern? If so, do these activities always cause you pain or only on occasion?
If your pain is triggered by specific movements, such as coughing or bending over, you may have chronic back pain caused by arthritis in your spine. However, if your pain comes on after you've been sitting for a long time, it may be caused by sciatica. Sciatica causes radiating leg pain that may begin as tingling and numbness and then progress into sharp shooting pains down one side of your body. Sciatica often occurs after sitting for long periods of time with poor posture (such as slouching).
Chronic pain is a condition that lasts more than three months. It can be caused by an injury, stress, or a medical condition. Chronic pain can be caused by any of the following:
Injury: An injury to the body causes pain that lasts longer than expected. This is especially true when it's a serious injury such as a broken bone or torn ligament.
Disease: Diseases such as cancer, arthritis, and fibromyalgia cause chronic pain. These diseases may not cause any symptoms at first, but they may progress over time and cause chronic pain later on.
Stress: Stress can cause you to feel tense or anxious for long periods of time. When you are stressed out enough, your body reacts by producing chemicals in your brain called neurotransmitters that can cause physical changes in your body. These changes can lead to chronic pain if they continue for long periods of time (more than three months).
Treatment for Managing Chronic Pain
If you're suffering from chronic pain, you may be wondering if it's time to seek help. Chronic pain differs from other types of pain in that it may not have a cause or identifiable source. That said, there are ways to tell the difference between the two, and if you feel that your pain is chronic, it's important that you talk to a pain doctor about it as soon as possible—especially if it lasts for a significant period of time.
Chronic pain can be the result of an underlying disease or condition, such as arthritis, cancer, or fibromyalgia, or it can be the result of an injury that does not heal properly. The good news is that there are many treatment options available for people with chronic pain.
The treatment options vary depending on their specific diagnosis or condition. However, these treatments should address the root cause of their pain while also promoting overall health and wellness. This way, chronic pain patients will be able to enjoy a high quality of life without being dependent on medications that can be harmful to their health in the long run.
Hopefully, this blog helped you understand a little bit more about the differences between pain and discomfort and how to tell the difference between the two. If you think you're experiencing chronic pain, it's important to get help. There are issues that need to be addressed and diagnosed so they can be treated properly.
Seek professional help from a pain management NYC specialist who can help assess your situation. Most importantly, though, if you've got a lot of pain, it's crucial not to push through it and ignore the symptoms your body is clearly trying to tell you about. The sooner you can get properly diagnosed and begin treatment, the sooner you can start feeling like yourself again.