According to John Hopkins Medicine, “Chronic pain is long standing pain that persists beyond the usual recovery period or occurs along with a chronic health condition, such as arthritis. Chronic pain may be "on" and "off" or continuous. It may affect people to the point that they can't work, eat properly, take part in physical activity, or enjoy life.”
First question to ask when analyzing pain, is what is a usual recovery time? This varies by what illness, disease, injury, or condition is the underlying cause of the pain. For example according to Yale Medicine it may be a normal course of events to still have pain several weeks after a surgery.
Remember that pain is subjective. Two people who exit the operating room at the same time can experience completely different pain responses. Perception including internal feelings are part of the individual experience of being human.
Everyone knows someone who they will say, “they complain about everything” or “they are always in pain.” The old adage about walking in someone’s shoes is a great one for this example. No one knows how pain effects another person. It is known that pain can have a devastating outcome to overall health, happiness, and longevity. Although all pain is an individual, subjective feeling, there are clear indications that it’s time to contact a Pain Management Specialist.
Pain and The Pursuit of Happiness
Whether the pain is constant, intermittent, or here one day and gone the next, if pain is interfering with ordinary life and the pursuit of happiness, it is a problem. OTC products work in temporarily relieving pain. When they are relied upon everyday for pain it is time to seek professional help.
Self-medicating for intermittent pain may seem effective, however the consequences from side effects of these medications need to be evaluated. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others); naproxen sodium, Aleve and others to relive temporary pain it is warranted and effective. When used constantly to relive pain regularly, it is a signal that the pain is more than an inconvenience and is affecting the normal routines of life.
Deemed safe and available over the counter these pain relivers may work in short order and allow pain sufferers to get back to life. The downside is there is a limit for their use. Every drug has side effects, NSAIDs do too. Long term use may affect the stomach, kidneys, and other organ function. If taking NSADs and their counterparts, Acetaminophen (Tylenol and others), more than a few times a month is necessary for everyday life, contact a Pain Management Doctor to find a better solution.
Everyone is an individual, the pain that each can bear is different. When pain is preventing normal everyday life, it is interfering with the pursuit of happiness.
Pain Relief Choices
Doctors in a variety of Specialties are capable of helping patients through short bouts of pain after an accident, injury, surgery, or other cause. For a comprehensive plan to alleviate long term pain, even when it is intermittent, if is affecting normal life it is time to make an appointment with a Pain Management Physician.