Chronic Pain and the Shapes It Can Take

The pain that remains consistent for almost three to six months is commonly known as chronic pain. This is a very common pain. Chronic pain affects millions of people every year. The pain affects various parts of the body like joints, head, back or shoulders.

The pain can have various patterns; sometimes a person can have various shapes of the pain and on times the pain exists in a similar manner. This random pattern makes it difficult to diagnose.

We should have sound knowledge about various types and forms of the chronic pain.

The two typical types of chronic pain are:

  • Nociceptive
  • Neuropathic

The nerves that are in charge of the brain for perceiving various sensations, including pain are called nociceptors, the pain caused by them is called nociceptive pain. While neuropathic chronic pain is usually caused by a malfunction of the nervous system. The nociceptive chronic pain can be superficial, deep somatic and intuitive. On the other hand, the neuropathic pains are tangential or central.

1- Fibromyalgia

The root causes of Fibromyalgia are still unknown after a lot of research and study. There are multiple documentations on its causes but it’s still unclear whether to categorize it as nociceptive or neuropathic pain.

The disorder is caused by an imbalance of the chemicals in the human brain which affects the pain perceiving the process of the brain in a dysfunctional way. This is so far the most accepted theory about this syndrome.

The conditions responsible for causing these imbalances are still a mystery. Somehow fibromyalgia is related to the neuropathic chronic pains because most of the studies and research relate it to the physical or emotional stress or injuries suffered by the patients.

2- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are many alike disorders with very similar symptoms that they are often misunderstood by each other. The various common symptoms may include sleeping disorders, muscles, and joints pain and the state of fatigue and anxiety.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome can vary due to the discomfort of enlarged lymph nodes and sometimes they extremities can actually become swollen.

3- Arthritis

The most common pain that particularly affects older people is the pain of arthritis. It has normally two kinds:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

The former slowly deteriorate the cartilages of the joints while the second one causes the lining of the joints inflamed and then destroys them.

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Pain, stiffness, warmth, and redness in the joints are the typical symptoms of the disorder. As the pain in joints is one of its symptoms so it is also sometimes mistaken with fibromyalgia. A complete and thorough analysis will easily clarify that which chronic pain-related medical condition is present.

4- Polymyalgia Rheumatica

This type of Arthritis that can cause muscle pain in two or more areas of the body at the same time is called Polymyalgia Rheumatica. The pain and stiffness in the shoulders, neck, upper arms, thighs and buttocks, as well as limited range of motions, fatigue,  loss of appetite, depression, weight loss and even fever, are symptoms a person can face who is affected by this disorder. People older than 50 years have less probability for this disorder. Again due to similar symptoms it is mistaken with fibromyalgia sometimes.

5- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome

One of the most painful long-term syndromes that can exist is Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and it has two types. Complex Regional Pain Syndrome caused by some sort of illness or injury that has not affected the working of the brain directly. It is caused by injuries that have directly affected the nerves.

A very high level of persistent pain, swelling in certain affected areas, sensitivity to extreme temperatures, changes in the temperature of the skin , atrophy of the muscles and stiffness in the joints are the typical symptoms of this medical condition.

6- Irritable Bowel Syndrome

The causes of this disorder are not properly identified. The abnormality in the movements of the intestines is the overall knowledge that is known about this defect. The usage of foods such as dairy products, soda, certain fruits and vegetables and coffee may act as promoters in such medical conditions.

Stress is another vital cause that develops the conditions which lead to Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The most significant symptoms of this disorder are: diarrhea, urination problems, severe stomach aches, fatigue, anxiety, sleeping issues, bloating, backache, headaches and unpleasant taste in the mouth. Its symptoms are similar to that of fibromyalgia so due to the overlap of the symptoms, it is mistaken with fibromyalgia.

There are various disorders that are characterized by chronic pain. Due to the similarity in most of their symptoms, it becomes difficult for specialists to diagnose the problem. When you get feeling of any of the symptom, consult the doctor as soon as possible in order to properly start the treatment after clear diagnosis.

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