What is it?
While severe pain is a normal sensation triggered in the nervous system to alert you to possible injury and the need to take care of yourself, chronic pain is different. Chronic pain persists. Pain signals keep firing in the nervous system for weeks, months, even years. There may have been an initial mishap – back injury, serious infection, or there may be an ongoing cause of pain — arthritis, cancer, ear infection, but some people suffer chronic pain in the absence of any past injury or evidence of body damage. Common chronic pain complaints include headache, low back pain, arthritis pain, neurogenic pain (pain resulting from damage to the peripheral nerves or to the central nervous system itself), psychogenic pain (pain not due to past disease or injury or any visible sign of damage inside or outside the nervous system).
For patients with chronic pain there is strong evidence to confirm physiotherapy management that includes supervised exercise programmes – such as those prescribed by chartered physiotherapists deliver valuable results: faster return to work rates, reduced recurrence rate, less sick leave being taken, reduced pain and increased mobility.
Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), formerly reflex sympathetic dystrophy, is a chronic systemic disease characterised by severe pain, swelling, and changes in the skin. Complex regional pain syndrome typically develops after an injury, surgery, stroke or heart attack, but the pain is out of proportion to the severity of the initial injury, if any. It’s not well understood why these injuries can trigger complex regional pain syndrome, but it may be due to a dysfunctional interaction between your central and peripheral nervous systems and inappropriate inflammatory responses. Treatment for complex regional pain syndrome is most effective when started early. In such cases, improvement and even remission are possible.
Fibromyalgia is one of a group of chronic pain disorders that affect connective tissues, including the muscles, ligaments (the tough bands of tissue that bind together the ends of bones), and tendons (which attach muscles to bones). It is a chronic condition that causes widespread muscle pain and excessive tenderness in many areas of the body. Many patients also experience fatigue, sleep disturbances, headaches, and mood disturbances, such as depression and anxiety. Despite ongoing research, the causes are not clear. There is most often some trigger factor that sets off fibromyalgia. It may be spine problems, arthritis, injury, or other type of physical stress
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