Chronic pain is more than occasional aches and pains because it lasts for longer than 12 weeks. Sudden, fleeting pain is an important nervous system reaction that helps us avoid significant injury or trauma. Pain signals travel from the injured area up the spinal cord and to the brain. The signals diminish as the injury heals, but the chronic pain lingers for weeks, months, and even years.
Some chronic pain patients experience problems with mobility, flexibility, strength, and endurance due to the stress that their condition puts on them. Even daily tasks seem impossible when their body is always sending and receiving pain signals.
The type of pain can vary between chronic pain sufferers. Among the possible descriptors used for chronic pain are a dull ache, throbbing, burning, shooting, squeezing, stinging, soreness, stiffness, and the list continues. The prognosis has more to do with the duration of the pain rather than its characteristics or local. Between 12 weeks and six months is when chronic pain is identified and treated as such.
The current treatments for chronic pain—besides holistic measures like movement, physiotherapy and a change in diet—can include prescription pain medications, some of which contain highly addictive (and some say over-prescribed) opioids.
These are the 7 most common causes of chronic pain.
Surgery: Chronic post-surgical pain (CPSP) is a recognized adverse consequence of surgery.
Arthritis: Chronic pain from arthritis may be constant, or it may come and go, but either way it makes even the simplest tasks a burden on the patient.
Trauma: Pain caused by stress and emotional issues can be almost equivalent to that resulting from physical means.
Lower back injury: One of the leading causes of chronic pain is back injury and back surgery.
Cancer: Nerve changes caused by cancer or cancer treatment is a primary source of chronic pain for cancer patients.
Neurogenic pain: Pain caused by nerve damage.
Psychogenic pain: Pain not caused by disease, injury, or nerve damage.
How does CBD help?
Some people are already using cannabidiol (CBD) oil to help relieve pain, inflammation, and overall discomfort related to chronic pain. CBD is a chemical compound associated with therapeutic benefits without the psychedelic “high” feeling attributed to Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Chronic pain cannabis topicals are also proving useful for treating some patients' localized pain, inflammation, and swelling.
''It's been known anecdotally," says researcher Mark Ware, MD, assistant professor of anesthesia and family medicine at McGill University in Montreal. "About 10% to 15% of patients attending a chronic pain clinic use cannabis as part of their pain [control] strategy," The question on the minds of many doctors and patients is whether CBD is better at treating persistent pain than opioid drugs. More research needs to be done to prove that Cannabidiol is useful and effective in chronic pain management and whether patients can safely switch from the addictive pain management medications they are being prescribed today.
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