You feel pain to signal that something is not right with your body. Left untreated, pain may become chronic, persisting for months or even years.
Often, when caused by a minor accident or sports-related injury, it can be treated with proper rest and therapy.
But pain caused by longstanding illness or conditions can become a permanent ordeal, hindering you from doing daily activities and achieving long-term plans.
Makati Medical Center, a top hospital in the Philippines, explains chronic pain & how it can be managed to ensure you can go about your daily routine and enjoy optimum quality of life.
Acute pains are normal. This is a painful sensation following surgery, broken bones, cuts, burns, dental work, childbirth, and the like. On the other hand, chronic pain is pain that lasts more than 12 weeks. According to Merle F. Dela Cruz-Odi, MD of MakatiMed’s Pain Management Services, chronic pain is persistent pain that may last for months—even years.
“Chronic pain may be triggered by an injury or illness,” says Dr. Odi. “But it greatly varies from person to person, as some patients deal with fatigue, sleep disturbance, decreased appetite, and mood changes alongside chronic pain.”
Cases of chronic post-operative pain are largely addressed by the MakatiMed Pain Management Services. This type of pain is a poorly recognized potential outcome of amputations, thoracotomies (surgeries to gain access to the heart, lungs, or esophagus), and breast surgery, and affects millions of patients every year.
Dealing with chronic pain can affect a person’s quality of life, compromising flexibility, strength, and stamina. Because pain is a highly subjective experience, doctors must base their course of treatment on the patient’s description of it, also known as pain history.
“Pain history describes how the patient perceives pain as either sharp or dull, constant or on and off, and other descriptive factors to help us pinpoint the possible cause,” says Dr. Odi. “Chronic pain may also be caused by multiple issues. The healthcare professionals from different fields sometimes work together to address the patient’s needs for pain management.”
Understanding each patient’s needs as well as the capacity of their loved ones to care for them is crucial for doctors to recommend a course of treatment that will ultimately manage pain and improve the quality of life of the patient.