What Is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain persists despite the fact that an injury has healed.

Pain signals remain active in the nervous system for weeks, months, or years. Physical effects include tense muscles, limited mobility, a lack of energy, and changes in appetite. Emotional effects include depression, anger, anxiety, and fear of re-injury. Such a fear may hinder a person’s ability to return to normal work or leisure activities.

Common chronic pain complaints include:

  • Headache
  • Low back pain
  • Sitting related injuries
  • Arthritis pain
  • Neurogenic pain (pain resulting from damage to nerves)
  • Psychogenic pain (pain not due to past disease or injury or any visible sign of damage inside)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Pain from previous injuries or surgeries
  • Many more

Chronic pain may have originated with an initial trauma/injury or infection, or there may be an ongoing cause of pain. However, some people suffer chronic pain in the absence of any past injury or evidence of body damage.