Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Pain Management Health Center

Font Size

Chronic Pain - Cause

The cause of chronic pain is not clear.

When you have an injury or illness, certain nerves send pain signals to your brain. With chronic pain, these pain signals keep going for weeks, months, or even years after you recover.

Recommended Related to Pain Management

Treat Insomnia

Chronic pain and insomnia often go hand in hand. And sleep problems can make pain even worse. Set a good sleep routine. If you still have problems, ask your doctor about sleep medication. Conditions: Migraine, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, back pain, neck pain, nerve pain Symptoms: Insomnia, unrefreshing sleep, difficulty sleeping, weakness, numbness, tenderness, muscle pain, joint pain, restlessness Triggers: Treatments: Categories: Rest

Read the Treat Insomnia article > >

Chronic pain can develop after a major injury or illness, such as a back injury or shingles, or it can happen without a known cause. It is also possible that certain brain chemicals that usually suppress pain stop working the way they're supposed to.

Pain can affect:

You can have more than one kind of pain at the same time. For example, fibromyalgia can cause pain in muscles and nerves.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    pain in brain and nerves
    Top causes and how to find relief.
    knee exercise
    8 exercises for less knee pain.
    acupuncture needles in woman's back
    How it helps arthritis, migraines, and dental pain.
    chronic pain
    Get personalized tips to reduce discomfort.
    illustration of nerves in hand
    lumbar spine
    Woman opening window
    Man holding handful of pills
    Woman shopping for vegetables
    Sore feet with high heel shoes
    acupuncture needles in woman's back
    man with a migraine