17 Myths About Chronic Pain

What you don't know about chronic pain might hurt you. Get the surprising facts! (19 Photos)

Laura Flynn McCarthy on May 11, 2012 at 2:06PM

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17 Myths About Chronic Pain

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Myth: All Pain Is the Same

Fact: Chronic pain is very different from acute pain. With acute pain, your nervous system sends pain signals to alert you to a possible injury or infection -- and the pain goes away when you treat your problem. With chronic pain, your nervous system continues to send pain signals for weeks, months, even years after a medical problem has been treated. Chronic pain can result from many different conditions, including a trauma or injury (such as back pain due to an accident), nerve disorders (shingles or multiple sclerosis, for example), hormonal conditions (like endometriosis) and joint or muscle problems (such as fibromyalgia). “In addition, your own individual biology factors into how you experience chronic pain and how you respond to treatments for it,” says Donna Kalauokalani, M.D., M.P.H., a specialist in pain management who serves on the medical board of the American Chronic Pain Association. “That’s why each person’s treatment plan needs to be individualized.”

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