What Causes Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is an ongoing, long-term condition that usually lasts for months or years. The pain can be constant (always there) or intermittent (comes and goes). Chronic pain may be mild to intense. It can affect just one area of the body, such as the back or neck, or it can involve more than one area at a time. Some people with chronic pain also have another physical problem along with their chronic pain.

They may also have mental health problems like depression and anxiety, which are common among people who live with ongoing physical discomfort. Although medicine has made great advances in relieving acute pain—that is, short-term occasional pains caused by injury—there are fewer options for relieving chronic, ongoing pain caused by an illness or condition.

It is difficult to determine what causes chronic pain because many different conditions can lead to chronic pain. Some people have a genetic tendency toward developing chronic pain, or show changes in their nervous system that make them more susceptible to it. Medical problems that cause acute (sudden) pain can also lead to chronic pain if the underlying problem is not treated early enough or does not heal properly.

Chronic pain may also result from ongoing stress, depression, anxiety, or other mental health problems. If these are present, they can contribute to the development of chronic pain and make it worse. Scientists are working hard to figure out why some people develop chronic pain and others do not under similar circumstances.

Chronic pain and inflammation:

The peer-reviewed scientific data supports the idea that cannabis is a valuable aid in the treatment of chronic pain and inflammation.  Several research studies have shown that cannabinoids are more effective against these symptoms than either conventional pharmaceuticals or opioids with less risk of addiction.

In addition, evidence suggests that cannabis may be useful in treating nausea associated with certain treatments, such as cancer or AIDS. This article reviews what is known about the possible medical uses for marijuana and its components from recent research.

Chronic pain affects an estimated 100 million Americans every year and costs society billions in lost productivity and health care expenses.

[1] Although it can arise from a variety of causes, neuropathic pain is a key component characterized by nerve damage. The most common cause of neuropathic pain is diabetes, affecting up to 5.7% of Americans.

[2]The most effective treatment for neuropathic pain remains a combination of antidepressants and anticonvulsants,

[3] both of which are considered second- or third-line therapies due to their potential adverse effects.

[4] Antidepressant side effects include sedation, sexual dysfunction, weight gain, sleep disturbances, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and dry mouth.

[5] The authors cautioned that “the prevalence of heavy reliance on opioid therapy is substantial enough to warrant serious concern.” Cannabis provides significant analgesia with fewer adverse effects than opioids. It has been used as both an adjunct and an opioid substitute in treating chronic pain.

Chronic pain and inflammation:

Several research studies have shown that cannabinoids are more effective against these symptoms than either conventional pharmaceuticals or opioids with less risk of addiction. In addition, evidence suggests that cannabis may be useful in treating nausea associated with certain treatments for cancer or AIDS. This article reviews what is known about the possible medical uses for marijuana and its components from recent research.

Possible Medical Uses

Chronic pain affects an estimated 100 million Americans every year and costs society billions in lost productivity and health care expenses.

Chronic pain treatment:

For example, a 2007 survey of the Centers for Disease Control found that 37% of patients using opioids for chronic pain developed an associated either physical or psychological dependence.

What is chronic pain:

Chronic pain is pain that lasts more than six months, often ongoing for years. The most common causes of chronic pain are nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy, shingles, trigeminal neuralgia), arthritis, cancer, and repetitive stress injuries. Chronic pain can be caused by an injury or accident or it can arise without any known cause (idiopathic).

There are many different types of chronic pain but all types result in the same symptoms: ongoing (burning, aching) and/or shooting (stabbing) discomfort; sensitivity to touch; stiffness; swelling; inflammation; tenderness; muscle spasms; fatigue; insomnia; depression, etc.

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