Pain is called chronic when it stays around after the body has healed. Chronic pain just means long term pain. Acute (short term) pain turns into chronic pain in about 10 - 20% of injuries. Over time, acute pain changes and takes on a life of its own that is only loosely connected to the injury. Unfortunately, pain feels like pain whether it is acute or chronic and injured workers with chronic pain can be excused for believing they are still injured and need medical care. While a minority of injured workers with chronic pain do need that additional test, MRI or treatment, most do not. Looking for more tests and treatment after it is useful will only delay doing the hard work of recovery. While no one would choose to live with chronic pain, the fact is that millions of people have done so successfully, leading productive and fulfilling lives. They do so through commitment and hard work to improve their lives with pain. However, there are also people with chronic pain who do not even know it is possible, or who have tried and failed in the past and have given up. Trust me, those are sad, miserable people. However, it is not the nature of the injury or the severity of the pain that determines those who will once again achieve happiness and those who will not.
Video with a good overview of how some pain becomes chronic.
Video about the effect of chronic stress on your brain and what to do about it.
Video: The secret World of Pain
The single most important thing to know about chronic pain is that is usually not dangerous, even if it feels that way. If you are uncertain, ask your doctor if it is dangerous to exercise. Most times you will hear "Exercise is the best thing you can do." In fact, exercise is the best long-term solution for just about any chronic health condition you can name. Here is what the Mayo clinic has to say about exercise. Chronic health conditions for which exercise is better or as good as than medication include: Chronic pain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type II diabetes, anxiety, arthritis, osteoporosis and fibromyalgia. Here is what the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has to say about the benefits of exercise.
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