Chronic pain is pain that extends beyond the expected time of healing (3-6 months). Everyone experiences pain differently and there are different types of pain.
Chronic pain may be divided into:
- Nociceptive: (caused by activation of nociceptors – nerve cells), dull, aching, poorly-localized pain.
- Neuropathic: (caused by damage to or malfunction of the nervous system), “burning”, “tingling”, “electrical”, “stabbing”, or “pins and needles”
Managing chronic pain requires a multiple approach because chronic pain affects us physically, emotionally and socially.
Your doctor will help you deal with the physical aspect of chronic pain using medication, injections, physiotherapy and acupuncture. Your doctor may even refer you to the pain clinic.
Chronic pain can affect us emotionally causing mood swing, depression and anxiety. Your doctor may recommend some psychological therapy or antidepressants. See our Mental Health page for more information.
Chronic pain will affect you socially but it is important that you keep mentally and physically active as much as possible and go back to work even if it is with reduced hours or amended duties.
Local pain clinic
Your doctor may decide to refer you to one of the local pain clinics.