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Guide to Chronic Pain and Management - Complications Caused by Chronic Pain

Complications Caused by Chronic Pain

When a person is experiencing chronic pain, it often comes with additional problems that complicate life and are just as serious as the pain.  Some of the more common complications of chronic pain include:

  • Insomnia and sleep problems
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Other pain conditions

Without a doubt, depression is the most common condition that occurs along with chronic pain.  Depression is believed to be four times more prevalent in people with chronic pain than the general population. 

Many times, this depression is referred to as clinical depression.  It goes beyond the typical sadness or emotions that someone might feel when they are down.  Clinical depression is a condition that can last for weeks, months, or years and typically requires therapy and medication. 

Clinical depression can affect many aspects of one’s life.  Your sexual drive can diminish, sleep can become difficult, you may become more irritable to others, you may find it difficult to work or take care of your finances, and stress can increase.  These challenges in turn affect not only you, but also your friends, family, work and other relationships.  Being aware of the depression that often comes with chronic pain is a first step towards finding effective treatment.

If you are feeling depressed because of chronic pain, don’t be afraid to talk to a doctor about it – it is far more common than you may imagine.

Source: Depression and Chronic Back Pain

Insomnia and Sleep Problems
More than half of all people with chronic pain report sleep problems – difficulty falling asleep, waking up during the night, and difficulty falling back asleep – due to the pain.  Chronic pain can make it almost impossible to get a good night’s sleep, which affects how you feel and how you work throughout the day.  Lack of sleep, in turn, usually makes chronic pain worse, and it can become a downward cycle of less sleep, more pain, less sleep, and on and on... 

Source: Chronic Pain and Insomnia: Breaking the Cycle

Depression, Sleep Problems, and Chronic Pain Need to be Treated Together
For many people, treating the chronic pain is often not enough.  All of the issues that accompany chronic pain need to be addressed together.

Pursing a pain management program that includes the treatment of insomnia and depression is a vital part of treatment for chronic pain because they are all related.  Sleep helps the healing process, which can reduce chronic pain, while depression can create stress and intensify the pain.  If the conditions that come with chronic pain are not treated effectively, it is less likely that a pain management program will be effective.

Information provided by: Spine-health | Trusted Pain Relief Information


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The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for medical advice in any way.  A licensed medical professional should be consulted for any and all medical conditions and symptoms.

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