Is chronic pain a disease?

Is chronic pain a disease?

Is chronic pain a disease?

On October 17, the World Pain Day promoted by the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) since 2004.

The WHO states that “chronic pain is a disease and its treatment is a human right ”.

Pain, that word that we frequently hear in our family, social or work environment. Near to 80% of medical visits they carry a problem related to pain and this affects all aspects of life (lifestyle, family relationships, financial cost for health care and lost working hours).

But not all pain is “bad.” Acute pain is usually of known cause, with proper treatment recovers in the short term and its existence is eessential for survival (diagnostic symptom of serious pathology such as myocardial infarction or acute appendicitis, for example).

What is chronic pain like?

Chronic pain produces a severe deterioration in quality of life of the patient, its origin may be unknown, treatments are often insufficient, and total remission is not possible.

Chronic pain is one that persists or recurs for more than three months and in the 2015 classification of the ICD (International Classification of Diseases) are inscribed seven generic groups of chronic pain: oncological, post-traumatic and postsurgical, neuropathic, visceral, musculoskeletal and primary.

In the consultation, aspects such as the frequency of pain and its chronology are assessed.

The Pain Units or Clinics arise for treating pain in a more specific way, as an entity of its own and not as a symptom of a disease. Depending on the number of specialists, these clinics are multidisciplinary or multidisciplinary (pain doctors, rehabilitators, psychologists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, etc.).

How to treat chronic pain?

In the consultation, aspects such as frequency of pain and its chronology, location and irradiation, with what it relates, what makes it worse and what relieves it, to explore symptom companions, sleep disturbances, assess emotional influence pain and the possibility of coexistence of anxiety and depression. Can be requested supplementary tests analytical, imaging (simple radiology, resonances, CT, electromyograms, etc.).

We will make a plan comprehensive treatment that includes clear and realistic objectives, along with the optimized medication intake and always taking into account the opinion of the patient. We cannot forget the improvement of functional capacity, the realization of physical activity adequate and lifestyle changes.

Chronic pain is one that persists or recurs for more than three months.

We will use the drugs at the lowest effective dose and for the shortest time possible. They may be carried out infiltrative techniques (blockages, infiltrations, radiofrequency or rhizolysis, etc.) to improve the level of pain. Must reassess the patient on a scheduled basis, especially in those who deal with strong opioids.

A healthy life style, some recommendations for physical exercise adapted to the needs of the patient in order to improve their quality of life and their autonomy. Regular physical activity like walking, aerobics, cycling, or swimming they can improve muscle strength, endurance, and balance.

The objectives that we must achieve They are: reduce the intensity of pain; improve healthy habits, physical activity, quality of sleep and mood; preserve work, social and family activity; involve the patient in the management and learning of their disease and ensure the correct use of medications and other therapeutic measures.

It is important to inform the patient and their families that the pain may not go away, but that it will try to interfere as little as possible in their daily life.

More information

V76 Medical Center

Avd. Denia, 76. 03015 Alicante

965 23 31 38/ 966 70 93 12

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