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Chronic Pain - What Increases Your Risk

Risk factors are things that increase your chances of getting sick or having a problem. Risk factors for chronic pain include:

  • Aging. Older adults are more likely to have certain health problems that can lead to chronic pain, such as arthritis, diabetes, and shingles.
  • Certain health problems. These include:
    • Existing health conditions, such as fibromyalgia, shingles, arthritis, depression or anxiety disorders, or phantom limb pain.
    • Past health problems, such as joint injuries or past surgeries.
    • Overall general health. You may have a weakened immune system, which can lead to frequent infections or illness.
  • Lifestyle, such as not eating healthy foods, not exercising regularly, smoking, or having a drug or alcohol problem.

Other risk factors include stress, relationship problems, or a history of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.

Recommended Related to Pain Management

WebMD 5: What You Need to Know About Pain

As with other subjective experiences, such as love, fear, or anger, there's no way to objectively measure pain. We asked Sean Mackey, MD, PhD, chief of the Pain Management Division and associate professor of anesthesia at Stanford University School of Medicine, to explain the unpleasant sensation we all feel in different ways.

Read the WebMD 5: What You Need to Know About Pain article > >

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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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