Common pain is considered to be the most common health ailment in the United States, with nearly 90 million Americans afflicted by chronic pain to some extent. Unlike acute pain, which is usually temporary and acts as a bodily signal that lets people know they have a health problem in need of their attention, chronic pain tends to be of a continual nature, often lasting six months or more, and of little use as a signal that something is wrong in the body.
The primary physical symptoms of chronic pain are lasting pain or soreness in any part of the body, chronic stiffness and muscle tension (especially in the back, neck, or shoulders), and/or recurring internal pain, such as headaches or gastrointestinal discomfort that do not go away.
Causes of Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is caused by prolonged irritation of nerve endings in the body that act as pain signals. These nerve endings can be irritated or stimulated by injury, inappropriately applied pressure, exposure to excess cold or heat, stress, and wounds. Certain diseases, including some forms of cancer, can also result in chronic pain. Unresolved emotional or mental issues can also cause chronic pain due to the stress associated with them. Our early behavioral and learning patterns can also influence how we perceive and respond to pain. In addition, pain medications, as well as other forms of pharmaceutical medications, can also cause pain due to negative side effects.
Food allergies, inflammation, and a diet that creates an internal acidic pH condition are also common and significant factors that can cause or contribute to chronic pain.