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Chronic pain is often defined as any pain lasting more than 12 weeks. Whereas acute pain is a normal sensation that alerts us to possible injury, chronic pain is very different. Chronic pain persists — often for months or even longer. A recent study has suggested that there could as many 28 million adults suffering from some type of chronic pain in the UK – that’s almost half of the adult population.
The pain in question can vary from being mild to excruciating, episodic or continuous, or merely inconvenient to totally incapacitating. It can also come in a variety of different forms, most commonly stemming from headaches, joint pain, pain from injury and backaches. Other kinds of chronic pain include tendinitis, sinus pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and pain affecting specific parts of the body, such as the shoulders, pelvis, neck and muscles.
With such a variety of pain centres, the causes of the pain can be numerous. The pain may often originate from an injury/trauma or an infection, or arise as a symptom of an unknown condition like fibromyalgia, arthritis or even cancer. To give you an example, back pain can originate from one or a combination of poor posture, lifting heavy objects, being overweight, traumatic injury, sleeping on a poor mattress, curvature of the spine or not obvious reason! Despite this and the number of other different causes, mainstream only offers limited treatment options.
The emotional toll of chronic pain also can make the pain worse. Anxiety, stress, depression, anger and fatigue can interact in complex ways with chronic pain and may decrease the body’s production of natural painkillers; moreover, such negative feelings may increase the level of substances that amplify sensations of pain, causing a vicious cycle of pain for the person. There is also considerable evidence that unrelenting pain may suppress the immune system.
The Daily Health offers information on a whole host of natural and alternative approaches that may help in alleviating the symptoms and specific causes of your pain.
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