Pain is a feeling set off in the nervous system. Acute pain lets you know that you may be injured or have a problem you need to take care of. Chronic pain is different. The pain signals go on for weeks, months, or even years. The original cause may have been an injury or infection. There may be an ongoing cause of pain, such as arthritis or cancer. But in some cases there is no clear cause.
Problems that cause chronic pain include
Chronic pain usually cannot be cured. But treatments can help. They include medicines, acupuncture, electrical stimulation and surgery. Other treatments include psychotherapy, relaxation and meditation therapy, biofeedback, and behavior modification.
NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Treatments and Therapies
- Antidepressants: Another Weapon Against Chronic Pain (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Biofeedback: Using Your Mind to Improve Your Health (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Chronic Pain and Complementary Health Approaches: What You Need To Know (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
- MedlinePlus: Pain Relievers (National Library of Medicine) Available in Spanish
- Self Care (Beth Israel Medical Center, Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care, Continuum Center for Health and Healing)
- Time to Talk: 6 Things You Should Know: The Science of Chronic Pain and Complementary Health Practices (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
- Coping with Chronic Pain (American Psychological Association) Available in Spanish
- Managing Chronic Pain (American Occupational Therapy Association) - PDF
- Pain Management Programs (American Chronic Pain Association)
- Quality of Life Scale: A Measure of Function for People with Pain (American Chronic Pain Association) - PDF
- Chronic Pain and PTSD: A Guide for Patients (National Center for PTSD)
- Chronic Pain Can Interfere with Sexuality (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
- Depression and Chronic Pain (National Institute of Mental Health) Available in Spanish
- Employees with Chronic Pain (Office of Disability Employment Policy)
- Staying Fit with Chronic Pain (American Heart Association)
Statistics and Research
- Complementary Health Approaches for Chronic Pain: What the Science Says (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
- Halt the Hurt! Dealing with Chronic Pain (National Institutes of Health)
- Scientists Take a Close-Up of Key Pain-Sensing Molecule (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)
- Study Suggests Brain Is Hard-Wired for Chronic Pain (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Chronic Pain (National Institutes of Health)
Journal ArticlesReferences and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Sleep Quality, Pain and Self-Efficacy among Community-Dwelling Adults with Sickle...
- Article: 12-Month safety and effectiveness of once-daily hydrocodone tablets formulated with...
- Article: Older African Americans' Beliefs about Pain, Biomedicine, and Spiritual Medicine.
- Chronic Pain -- see more articles
Find an Expert
- American Chronic Pain Association
- Find a Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Physician (American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation)
- National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Available in Spanish
- NIH Pain Consortium
- Pain (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health) - PDF
- Dealing with Persistent Pain in Older Adults (American Geriatrics Society)