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A Patient's Guide to Chronic Pain

Last updated 2 years ago

A physician at your community hospital can categorize pain in a number of ways, including whether it is acute or chronic. If you suffer an injury, you will likely experience acute pain, which will typically resolve itself as the injury heals. If the pain persists longer than 12 weeks, the doctor at your local hospital may diagnose you with chronic pain. Although chronic pain is still not well understood, you can find an effective treatment plan by working with specialists at your community hospital.

Causes

There are many potential causes of chronic pain. Often, it involves a previously sustained condition or injury, such as a bone fracture or torn rotator cuff muscle. Sometimes, patients suffer from chronic pain due to a chronic medical condition such as arthritis. Unfortunately, in many cases, doctors are unable to pinpoint a particular cause of the problem. It is thought that chronic pain can occur when the pain signals continue to exist within the nervous system, even when an underlying medical condition isn’t causing them anymore.

Symptoms

Chronic pain can involve a range of types of discomfort. An individual may experience mild or severe pain that may feel as though it is burning, aching, or stabbing. Other symptoms can include stiffness, soreness, or tightness of the muscles. Chronic pain is also associated with symptoms such as fatigue, insomnia, a weakened immune system, social withdrawal, anxiety, depression, and irritability.

Treatments

People who suffer from chronic pain are sometimes prescribed strong pain relievers. However, it’s not advisable to use these potent drugs on a long-term basis. Patients who suffer from chemical dependency because of chronic pain may wish to work with a mental health specialist at a community hospital. Other treatment options include local electrical stimulation, biofeedback, behavior modification, and psychotherapy.

Memorial Hospital of Tampa is a community hospital that has been providing a comprehensive range of healthcare services since 1972. At our community hospital, residents of the South Tampa area can work with mental health professionals to learn how to effectively manage chronic pain. Please call our Consult-A-Nurse referral line at (813) 873-6400 to request a referral to a mental health specialist at our community hospital.

 

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Disclaimer: The materials provided are intended for informational purposes only. You should contact your doctor for medical advice. Use of and access to this website or other materials do not create a physician-patient relationship. The opinions expressed through this website are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the hospital, medical staff, or any individual physician or other healthcare professional.
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