About Chronic Pain

About Chronic Pain

Although it is often said that pain is an inevitable part of life, chronic pain is a disease that can be both physically and emotionally debilitating. Coping with chronic pain is an ongoing battle and we at the Pain Clinic of Monterey Bay are dedicated to helping our patients manage their chronic pain. Many underlying conditions can cause chronic pain, including: past injuries, surgeries, arthritis, and infections. Other causes of chronic pain can include:

Neuropathic Pain

Neuropathic, or nerve pain is often the result of a misfiring nervous system, resulting in either shooting or burning pain or tingling and numbness. Managing neuropathic pain is important to prevent the symptoms from spreading. Treating nerve pain can include medications, physical therapy and advanced neuromodulation techniques that can avoid the risks and side effects of medications.

Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is characterized by widespread pain lasting for at least three months, chronic fatigue, and difficulty focusing or paying attention. Scientists do not currently know exactly what causes fibromyalgia, but it is believed that changes in the brain and spinal cord increase sensitivity to pain.  Fibromyalgia treatments can include medication, physical therapy and appropriate exercise.  Other treatments including psychological treatment can be helpful in some individuals.

Sciatica/Lumbar Radiculopathy

Lumbar radiculopathy is a type of chronic pain that creates irritation in the lower back, commonly referred to as sciatica pain, though sciatica itself is fairly uncommon. Chronic pain is the primary symptom, but sciatica pain can also result in difficulty controlling the bowels or bladder, or tingling or numbness. Treatment for sciatica pain, lumbar radiculopathy, and its associated chronic pain can include medication management and other non-surgical options such as physical therapy and regular use of heat or ice packs.

Chronic Body Pain

Chronic pain can affect nearly any area of the body, not limited to: the neck, back, lower back, shoulder, knees, and hips. Chronic body pain can also be more general, affecting the joints or muscles. There is no single cause of body pain and relief from pain can come from a treatment plan tailored to your needs.   It is important first to have an accurate diagnosis so specific treatment for that cause can be started.

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