A bone scan can show nerve damage
Chronic pain recognize and treat
Chronic pain is persistent pain that affects your wellbeing, performance and quality of life. The cause of pain can be completely different. Around 12 million people in Germany suffer from chronic pain.
Definition of chronic pain
Chronic pain is persistent or recurrent pain that lasts longer than the normal healing time for an illness or injury, or at least 3 to 6 months.1
Causes of chronic pain include: injury; Surgeries that have damaged nerves; Spinal cord diseases such as degenerative disc disease; Nerve damage as a result of infection and others.
The symptoms of chronic pain range from mild discomfort to complete restriction of movement. It can range from sharp or stabbing pain, a burning sensation to dull muscle pain. The affected areas are tender and the pain may increase with movement. Chronic pain is often not always the same. The pain can change or intensify over the course of a day.
Your pain may be chronic if it lasts more than 6 months. Contact your doctor for more information.
Document your symptoms and discuss them with your doctor.
Types of Chronic Pain
Chronic back and leg pain
Chronic back and leg pain is described as pain that has been in the back or leg for at least six months. The pain is mostly felt in the lower back, but it can spread to other regions, e.g. B. in the thighs, calves and feet.
Chronic back and leg pain can have a number of causes affecting the spine:
- Intervertebral disc degeneration
- Lumbar disc herniation
- Failed back surgery syndrome (long-term pain despite successful spinal surgery)
- Epidural fibrosis
The symptoms of chronic back and leg pain range from a slight discomfort to complete restriction of movement. They manifest themselves from sharp or stabbing pain to a burning sensation to dull muscle pain. The affected areas are sensitive to pressure, although the pain may increase with movement.
Complex regional pain syndrome
The complex regional pain syndrome is a chronic pain condition that mostly occurs in the arms, legs, hands or feet. The complex regional pain syndrome is also known as reflex dystrophy (Sudeck's disease) or causalgia.
Complex regional pain syndrome usually develops after an injury (such as a broken leg) or surgery on an extremity. The exact cause of CRPS is unknown.
The main symptom is extreme pain, which is often described as burning. Other symptoms may include:
- Touch sensitivity,
- Skin changes,
- declining functionality in the hand / foot.
Your doctor may base the diagnosis of complex regional pain syndrome on:
- the anamnesis,
- the medical examination,
- a bone scan,
- Nervous system tests,
- X-ray examinations,
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Painful neuropathy is a neurological disorder that is associated with severe, chronic pain from nerve damage. Nerves connect the spinal cord to the body and enable the brain to communicate with the skin, muscles and internal organs.
The painful neuropathy is caused by nerve damage. The damage can include have the following causes:
- Imbalanced diet
- Diseases like kidney failure or cancer
- Injury to nerves
The causes of painful neuropathy are many. However, there are some common symptoms:
- Shooting or sharp pain
- Pain from activities that are usually painless (such as being touched with a feather)
These symptoms are most common on the hands or feet.
Since the painful neuropathy is triggered by various diseases, the diagnosis depends on the individual case.
Cluster headaches are severe headaches that are different from migraines and tension headaches. They affect about 1 in 1,000 people.1 Cluster headaches are characterized by extreme attacks of pain on one side of the face, typically around the eye, lasting 15 to 180 minutes, and occurring up to eight times a day every two days. Other symptoms associated with the attacks may include:2
- Redness or tearing of the eye
- Constriction of the pupil
- Drooping and / or swelling of the eyelid
- Nasal congestion or runny nose
- Sweating on your forehead or face
- Restlessness or excitement
If these attacks last longer than a year or if the headache-free periods are shorter than a month, the condition is considered chronic.2
The treatment of chronic cluster headache (CCK) includes preventive drug therapy and abortive acute therapy for single attacks. If there is no improvement even after numerous therapies, the disease is considered unresponsive or refractory to treatment. If you have been diagnosed with CCK and your condition does not improve satisfactorily despite numerous treatments, you may be eligible for a new medical implant to reduce the frequency of headache attacks before they start.
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