What is Chronic Benign Pain?
Sometimes, chronic pain is caused by a diagnosed condition, such as a degenerative disease or cancer. However, oftentimes, the cause of chronic pain is not directly linked to another medical condition; this is specifically referred to as “chronic benign pain” or “chronic non-cancer pain.” This is the most common form of chronic pain. Because it is the most common, it is simply labeled “chronic pain.”
Pain is a distinctive and personal experience.
Each person experiences pain differently. Even if two people present with the exact same injury, they show and feel their pain in distinctive ways. This is no different for individuals with chronic pain.
Chronic pain is real.
People with chronic pain are sometimes treated like their pain is either greatly exaggerated or completely fabricated. Friends, family and coworkers may have a difficult time believing an individual has chronic pain simply because they look fine on the outside. Even health care providers can make individuals feel like their pain is psychological because they cannot find a physical cause of the pain. The medical community is finally beginning to recognize that chronic pain, in itself, is a medical condition that requires treatment.
Chronic pain and acute pain are different.
Acute pain protects and heals the body and has a clear beginning and end. When a person experiences acute pain, the intensity of the pain correlates directly to the total damage. Acute pain notifies the brain that something in the body is diseased or injured, and when the injury or disease is healed, the pain subsides. However, chronic pain does not have a protective or biological function nor does it follow a specific time frame.
Is there treatment for chronic pain?
Many treatments are available for chronic pain. Finding a board-certified pain specialist is a good first step. Oftentimes, managing chronic pain involves a multidisciplinary approach including health care professionals from different specialties. Developing a treatment plan with a pain management team provides the best results.