Chronic pain refers to pain that continues after an acute injury heals or after a period of time that should enable healing. In the case of chronic pain, the discomfort persists for six months or longer. Examples are cancer pain, pain related to a persistent or degenerative disease, and long-term pain from an unidentifiable cause. Unrelieved pain eventually becomes chronic. Chronic pain is a complex disorder that has outlived its usefulness, and is much more complex than acute pain. It has biological, mental, emotional, and spiritual components. In many cases, the cause of chronic pain cannot be determined and the pain is resistant to medical treatment. Chronic nonmalignant pain or chronic non-cancer pain, also called CNCP most often involves damage to the central or peripheral nervous systems. In some people who have chronic pain, there is not even a past injury or evidence of tissue damage. Chronic pain syndrome:
- Pain that has lasted for more than six months.
- Feelings of depression, anger, worry, discouragement, and irritability.
- Sleep difficulties.
- Monetary problems.
- Problems relating to others, causing significant disturbance in relationships.
- An inability to tolerate activities.
- Withdrawal from social activities.
- Inability to concentrate.
- Poor memory.
- A decrease in sexual activity or performance.
- A decrease in self-esteem.
- Secondary physical problems.
- Misuse of pain medications and/or alcohol.
- Avoiding work and leisure activities.
- Negative attitudes concerning everyday life.
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