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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

Is Your Pain Acute or Chronic?

Pain is a normal part of life: a skinned knee, a tension headache, a bone fracture. But sometimes pain becomes chronic -- a problem to explore with your doctor.  WebMD asked Eduardo Fraifeld, MD, president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, to help readers understand acute vs. chronic pain.

Read the Is Your Pain Acute or Chronic? 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.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    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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