Chronic Pain Symptoms and Diagnosis
From Erica Jacques, former About.com Guide
Symptoms of Chronic Pain
Chronic pain and acute pain are different not only in how long they last but in how they feel. People who have chronic pain generally describe their experiences differently than those with acute pain.
- What is Chronic Pain?
- General Chronic Pain Symptoms
- Chronic Pain Versus Acute Pain
- Depression and Chronic Pain
- Relapsing / Remitting Pain - Pain That Comes and Goes
- Breakthrough Pain
- Somatic Pain - Musculoskeletal Pain
- Visceral Pain - Pain From the Organs
- Skin Changes
Diagnosing Chronic Pain
Unfortunately, chronic pain can take a long time to diagnose because its symptoms are often similar to other chronic illnesses or disorders. However, there are some commonly used tests and procedures your doctor will use when diagnosing your chronic pain.
- Rating Your Pain
- Gallery of Common Pain Rating Scales
- You've Been Diagnosed with Chronic Pain: Now What?
Classes of Chronic Pain
There are six classes of chronic pain, based on how pain is detected and interpreted. Each causes a specific type of pain, and must be treated in a specific way.
Types of Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can be caused by disease, injury or psychological disorder. While there are countless conditions that cause chronic pain, the most common types are back pain, headache pain and joint pain. Other common chronic pain conditions include cancer pain, pain syndromes and pain from depression.
Chronic Pain in Specialized Populations
Even the same chronic pain conditions can affect people differently based on their age, sex or background.
Unusual Types of Chronic Pain
Not all cases of chronic pain are limited to the back and joints. Sometimes, chronic pain has a more unusual cause.