What is Chronic Pain?
When it comes to pain, most people know about acute pain. That is the type of pain that you feel right after an injury, whether it's a cut, broken bone, or a burn.
Chronic pain is any pain that last 45 days or longer, or longer than expected for the type of injury. In some circles, chronic pain is defined as pain lasting longer than 3 months.
We now know that chronic pain is different and needs to be treated differently then acute pain. Medications are not the answer to chronic pain. In fact, there is no perfect answer to treating chronic pain. Each patient needs to have a personal treatment plan and personalized goals. Treatment needs to include a multimodal approach; physical therapy, chiropractic care, massage therapy, exercise therapy, and OTC medications including Tylenol and/or ibuprofen for mild pain.
Prescription pain medication does have it's place in the treatment of chronic pain. Pain medications do not just include narcotic medications (Norco, Percocet, Oxycodone), but includes a variety of medications for different types of pain. Often, we use nerve medication to help with pain, such as Gabapentin, other times, a muscle relaxer is needed to reduce muscle spasms. This is why the patient and provider need to work together to define the pain and create a specific and specialized plan.