We all experience aches and pain from time to time. In general, pain is a good thing. It’s your body’s way of protecting you from further injury. But some people have pain that continues long after the cause of pain would be expected to have resolved. In fact, there are over 100 million people in the U.S. who suffer from chronic pain. If your pain has lasted 3 months or more, you may be experiencing chronic pain. Unmanaged chronic pain can significantly impact your life and take a toll on your health.
Chronic pain can be complex—it describes many different types of pain conditions, such as low back pain, cancer pain, arthritis pain, headache, and nerve pain. And there are different kinds of chronic pain, as well as many approaches to treat them. The ability to describe your pain to your healthcare provider is one of the most important ways to get the appropriate treatment you need. For example:
- Nociceptive pain may feel sore, dull, tender, or achy.
- Neuropathic pain can feel like small electric shocks, tingling, prickling, hot and burning, or painfully cold.
- Centralized pain can feel like general widespread pain throughout your body.
If you think you suffer from chronic pain, speak to your healthcare provider and accurately describe your pain. Record details about your pain (e.g., where it occurs, how often, what it feels like) with this chronic pain questionnaire. Then share it with your doctor in order to develop a management plan that is best suited for you.
Watch the videos below to learn more:
Stephen Watt, BSc, MBChB, MPhil, MRCP, MFPM is a physician and the Enterprise Benefit Risk Medical Lead at Pfizer Inc.