Common Ailments: Chronic Pain
If your pain has lasted beyond the time expected for healing following surgery, trauma or other condition—usually three months—then it may be considered a chronic illness.
Conditions such as migraine, osteoporosis, arthritis and other musculoskeletal ailments are well recognised chronic diseases.
However, there are other chronic pain conditions that may not be as common or well known. They include conditions related to nerve pain, pelvic pain, abdominal pain, facial pain and persistent post-surgical pain.
Acute pain can transition into chronic pain if it is untreated or poorly treated. This happens when neuroplastic changes occur within the nervous system, which make the body more sensitive to pain and can create sensations of pain even without external pain stimuli. For example, people can feel pain from a breeze or clothes touching their skin. This is called pain sensitisation.
The longer pain remains untreated, the greater the risk of the body becoming sensitised to pain, and the pain becoming chronic. Therefore timely and effective treatment of acute pain is essential to prevent transition to chronic pain.
If you are concerned about pain that has lasted beyond the expected time for healing, please consult your doctor.