Millions of Americans suffer from chronic pain, as do countless other people all around the world. If you are experiencing pain that has been present for several months that is unresponsive to treatment, this is defined as chronic pain.
Diagnosing Chronic Pain
The process of diagnosing chronic pain is not always straightforward.
In some instances, your doctor may easily be able to locate the cause of the pain and therefore decide upon a treatment plan. However, in other instances, the root cause of the pain can be hard to locate. If it is difficult for your doctor to discover the origin of the pain, then it becomes much harder to treat.
Chronic pain can present for any number of reasons. For example, if you are an athlete who has experienced an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear, then this is a condition that may develop into chronic pain. Although it is possible to fully recover from this kind of ligament tear, there is always the risk of complication, which could lead to severe and persistent pain.
If you believe that an ACL tear is the cause of your current pain problem, then you will want to ask your doctor what is an anterior cruciate ligament tear and what are your options?
In striving to diagnose the cause of your pain, your doctor will likely conduct a range of diagnostic tests.
These tests may include:
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
- Muscle activity tests
- Imaging tests
- Nerve function studies
Your doctor may also want you to undergo a range of tests to determine how good your reflexes and your coordination are.
Side Effects of Chronic Pain
If you are suffering from this condition, then the pain itself will certainly be one of the most serious issues to contend with. However, chronic pain patients are also more prone to a range of other issues, such as:
- Low energy
The pain can also present in different ways at different times. It may fluctuate between being an ache to becoming a shooting pain. It could also manifest as throbbing, stiffness, or a burning sensation.
Treating Chronic Pain
If the source of the pain can be identified, then treating the root could potentially resolve the pain. If it is not possible to identify, then pain management becomes the next best treatment option.
Pain management is usually achieved through medications and physical therapy. Your doctor may also suggest that you make certain lifestyle and dietary changes. Alternative therapies, such as acupuncture and hypnotherapy, have also been utilized by certain practitioners to support patients in alleviating their symptoms.
Help and Support
Living with chronic pain can take a huge toll on a person’s emotional wellbeing and mental health. Seeking support from other people who are also experiencing this issue can be a helpful way to come to terms with a chronic pain diagnosis.
It is possible to find online support groups as well as in-person meetings in your local area. These meetings can be a fantastic place to find advice and guidance to manage your condition.