Chronic Pain Can Be More Than Just Physical Discomfort


Chronic pain is among the most serious medical conditions that get too little attention by both the medical community and the culture in general. There could be many reasons explaining the lack of attention, but a lot of it can be laid at the feet of ignorance. People who have never experienced chronic pain have a challenging time understanding that it is more than just physical discomfort.

Estimates suggest that anywhere from 11% to 40% of American adults live with chronic pain. In addition:

  • 80% of chronic pain patients also experience depression
  • 25% of chronic pain patients also have a sleep disorder
  • The total costs of dealing with chronic pain tops $600 billion annually
  • The most common form of chronic pain is lower back pain.

Chronic pain is defined medically as any type of pain that is experienced daily, or almost daily, for at least three months. Your typical osteoarthritis patient is also a chronic pain patient for the simple fact that osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition patients live with 24/7.

Chronic Pain Is Annoying

All of us have experienced pain before. It is a normal part of the human condition. But if you’ve never experienced chronic pain, try to imagine the worst pain you have felt in your life. Then try to imagine it persisting for three months. At the very least, you should be able to imagine how annoying that would be.

Chronic pain is annoying because it lingers. There are some chronic pain patients who rarely experience pain-free moments. Others are fortunate enough to have those brief times when pain isn’t present, but it always returns soon enough. Having the constant sensation of pain is just bothersome.

Chronic Pain Is Often Limiting

As chronic pain is so annoying, it is often limiting as well. Let’s go back to the osteoarthritis patient who constantly experiences pain in the knees and hips. The disease makes walking painful. The same goes for bending over to tie one’s shoes, carrying the garbage out to the trash can, and just about anything else that involves a modicum of movement.

What does an osteoarthritis patient tend to do? Limit their activities. Why intentionally do things that cause more pain? Unfortunately, although limiting oneself may offer short-term pain relief, it only exacerbates the problem over the long term.

Chronic Pain Can Be Debilitating

An unintended result of limiting one’s activities is that, eventually, it can lead to chronic pain being completely debilitating. According to the experts at, chronic pain patients are at a higher risk of being debilitated if they don’t have access to treatments that work for them. Perhaps that’s why so many are now turning to medical cannabis for treating chronic pain.

The cannabis solution aside, allowing chronic pain to be debilitating leads to yet another challenge: a significant loss of quality of life. That may be the biggest issue of all. Quality of life is crucial to both mental and physical health. When a person’s quality of life suffers, everything else suffers along with it.

Don’t Dismiss Complaints of Pain

If someone you love complains of chronic pain, do not dismiss those complaints as signs of weakness or attention seeking. Chronic pain is a very real problem that seriously impacts lives. It needs to be addressed. Fortunately, it can be. Chronic pain patients can take their lives back with the help of experienced pain doctors and the right treatments.

If you are a chronic pain patient yourself, don’t stop looking for relief. Something out there can help you. It is just a matter of digging around until you find it.

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