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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

When Your Pain Medication Isn't Working

More than 100 million Americans have chronic pain. If you're one of them, controlling it will likely require searching for treatments beyond medication. That's because pain medication, while helpful, often cannot provide complete relief of pain. It may reduce but not eliminate pain. Carla Ulbrich, 45, is willing to use medication to help control her chronic pain. But she sees it as just one piece of her overall plan. For the past 20 years, lupus and fibromyalgia have caused pain to smolder and...

Read the When Your Pain Medication Isn't Working article > >

    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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