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Pain Management Health Center

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Chronic Pain - What Happens

Whether your chronic pain develops after an injury or illness or on its own, the result is often the same: a cycle of sleeplessness, inactivity, irritability, depression, and more pain.

Chronic pain may be mild to severe. It may come back from time to time over several weeks, months, or years. Exercise, regular massages, and pain-relieving medicines-such as acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or aspirin-may be enough to manage your symptoms.

Recommended Related to Pain Management

Sex and Chronic Pain

Maryann Lowry was 42 years old in 1995, when she woke up one morning with severe pelvic pain. She was diagnosed with vulvodynia -- which literally just means severe pain in the vulvar area. Today, 14 years later, she says that she’s “95% recovered” -- but the many years of dealing with chronic pain took its toll on her relationships, her personal life, and of course, her sex life. “I thought, how am I going to keep my marriage together if I can’t have sex? It was more of a gift that I tried to give...

Read the Sex and Chronic Pain article > >

On the other hand, you may have constant chronic pain that is severe and needs more than home treatment. Without treatment, chronic pain syndrome (changes in the body caused by long-term pain) can become disabling.

The lives of your family members, friends, or caregivers can also be affected. The people you count on to help you may also need some support. Family therapy or involvement in a caregiver support program may help.

    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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