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Chronic Pain - Topic Overview

You may have tests to find out if a medical problem is causing the pain. Your doctor may check for problems with your nervous system and may order blood tests. He or she may also ask you questions to check your mood and mental health and to see how well you are able to think, reason, and remember.

In most cases, test results are normal. This can make it hard to know the exact cause of the pain. But this doesn't mean that your pain isn't real.

You can use home treatment for mild pain or pain that you have now and then. Exercising and getting enough sleep may help reduce chronic pain.

Using over-the-counter pain medicines such as acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen may also help. You may want to try complementary therapies such as massage and yoga.

Talk to your doctor if your pain does not go away or if it gets worse. You may need to try different treatments to find what works for you. Medicines you take by mouth, shots of numbing medicine, acupuncture, nerve stimulation, and surgery are used for some types of chronic pain.

It is important to make a clear treatment plan with your doctor. The best plan may include combining treatments.

Living with chronic pain can be hard. Counseling may help you cope. It can also help you deal with frustration, fear, anger, depression, and anxiety.

You may always have some pain. But in most cases, chronic pain can be managed so that you can get on with your life and do your daily activities.

Learning about chronic pain:

Being diagnosed:

Getting treatment:

Ongoing concerns:

Living with chronic pain:

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.
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