Pain which persists for an extensive period of time (six months or longer) can be considered chronic. The pain can range from mild and sporadic to continuous and excruciating. A person may be able to function with mild and inconvenient pain or they can become completely incapacitated during episodes of extreme discomfort.
A person experiencing chronic back pain typically reports discomfort in the lower lumbar spine but pain can originate in any area of the back. It generally persists within the nervous system for several weeks, months or in extreme cases, years. Physical and emotional stresses can result when a person is experiencing chronic pain in their spine.
What Are The Symptoms?
Common complaints of pain typically stem from trauma or injury to the spine resulting from such factors as improper weightlifting and high-velocity impacts from contact sports or vehicle accidents. Ongoing causes of pain may also stem from infections but discomfort may be present in the absence of previous injuries or evidential body damage.
The immune system has also been known to be affected by chronic and unrelenting pain. A person suffering unrelenting back pain may experience:
- Persistent pain ranging from mild to severe
- Shooting, burning or aching pain along the affected area
- Soreness, tightness, stiffness, immobilization and/or discomfort
The emotional toll generated by persistent back pain can elevate symptoms and make them seem worse. Elevated levels of negative emotions can amplify feelings of pain which may result in vicious pain cycles for the affected person.
Oftentimes, pain is not the only symptom that is experienced. Changes in mood can occur when chronic pain has altered everyday life. Feelings of exhaustion and irritation which result in the removal from normal activity are also common. In many cases, a person experiences fear, depression, anxiety, stress, fatigue and sleeplessness as a result of unrelenting pain. In more severe cases, disability can occur.
At IGEA Brain, Spine & Orthopedics, we take a personalized and comprehensive approach to your condition. Contact us to learn more about your options or to get a 2nd opinion.