Whether it's you or a loved one dealing with chronic pain, you'll want to get a full understanding of the causes, how it is treated.
What is chronic pain?
Pain that lasts for 3 months or longer is considered chronic. Pain is your body's way of letting you know that something is wrong. When you are injured or ill, it is normal to experience pain. However, if the pain lasts for weeks, months, or years it is not normal.
Chronic pain can range from being mild and annoying to being so bad that it gets in the way of your daily activities.
Chronic pain is more common in older adults, but it is not considered a normal part of aging. Older adults are more likely to have long-term medical problems, such as arthritis, which can lead to chronic pain.
What causes chronic pain?
While the cause of chronic pain is not always clear, it may occur from damaged nerves, or because brain chemicals that usually stop pain after you get better from an illness or injury are not working right. Chronic pain can also occur without a known cause.
Living with chronic pain can be devastating, and it can lead to depression, fear, loss of employment, isolation and family dysfunction. The staff at the Pain Management Center offers medical care to patients experiencing pain and teaches them skills to reduce and minimize the effects of acute and chronic pain.
What are chronic pain symptoms?
Common symptoms of chronic pain include, but are not limited to:
- Mild to very bad pain that does not go away as expected.
- Pain that is shooting, burning, aching, or electrical.
- Soreness, tightness, or stiffness.
How is chronic pain diagnosed?
Your doctor can find out if you have chronic pain by asking about your general medical history, past illnesses and your overall health. He or she will also do a physical exam, which will help in identifying areas of pain. Finally, diagnostic tests may be performed to potentially rule out other health conditions that can cause chronic pain.
How is chronic pain treated?
While you may need to try different treatments to find what works for you, it is always important to make a clear treatment plan with your doctor. Treatments for chronic pain can range from traditional medications to alternative therapies. Medicines you take by mouth, shots of numbing medicine, acupuncture, nerve stimulation, and surgery are used for some types of chronic pain.
Living with chronic pain can be hard, but it can often be managed so that you can get on with your life and resume your daily activities.
Pain Management Physician:
Bakul Dave, MD
Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital
Washington University Pain Management Center
969 N. Mason Road, Suite 240
Creve Coeur, MO 63141
Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital is conveniently located just one mile west of I-270 on Olive Boulevard, at Olive and Mason in Creve Coeur, Missouri, a west county suburb of St. Louis, Missouri.
Get directions to our hospital
MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TODAY
You will need a referral from your physician to schedule an appointment. If you are experiencing chronic pain, contact your physician and ask if you are a candidate for pain management services.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Washington Unversity Pain Management at 314.996.8631.