REVIEW – July – August 2009

Chronic pain – the result or the cause of a disease?


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Chronic pain is defined as the pain that persists longer than the temporal course of natural healing, associated with a particular type of injury or disease process. Chronic pain lasts at least 6 months after the body has healed. Pain is often associated with natural degenerative processes and with chronic diseases, which may be painful. However, chronic pain is not an inevitable result of several anatomic changes and its multidimensional characteristics are correlated with higher brain functions. Meticulous differentiation between nociceptive, neuropathic and idiopathic pain is a mandatory prerequisite in planning the treatment rationale for patients with chronic pain. The predominant feature of idiopathic pain is the complaint of severe and continuous pain in absence of adequate physical findings to account for the pain. Persons with chronic´pain can be helped if they are aware of all causes of pain. Physical therapy, lifestyle changes and proper medication are essential components of pain management.