Chronic pain is the pain that persists after the initial injury has healed. Pain signals can remain active in the nervous system for weeks, months, or even years. Physical effects may include tense muscles, limited mobility, a lack of energy, and changes in appetite. Emotional effects include depression, anger, anxiety, and a fear of re-injury. Such a fear may hinder a person’s ability to return to their normal work or leisure activities. Examples of chronic pain complaints include:
- TMJ (Jaw Pain)
- Neck pain
- Low back pain
- Cancer pain
- Arthritis pain
- Gastrointestinal pain
- Nerve pain
- Psychogenic pain (unexplained pain that is not due to past disease, injury, or visible sign of damage)
Chronic pain may have originated with an initial trauma, injury, infection, or surgical procedure. However, individuals may suffer from chronic pain in the absence of a past disease, injury, or visible sign of damage.
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