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What is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is pain that lasts beyond the time expected for healing healing following surgery or trauma or other condition. It can also exist without a clear reason at all.

Some forms of chronic pain, for example pain associated with severe osteoarthritis, may be treated with therapy which may include medication or surgery; however other types of chronic pain, such as neuropathic pain or migraine, may be far more difficult to diagnose and treat.

A large body of basic research indicates that chronic pain is associated with neuroplastic changes in the nervous system at peripheral, spinal cord and brain levels. Thus chronic pain is shown to have a distinct pathology that often worsens over time, and constitutes a serious separate disease entity.[ii]

Left untreated, chronic pain can have a devastating impact on all aspects of sufferers' lives. About 65 percent of people with chronic pain report interference with daily activities including sleep, sex, work, exercise and routine self-care, which can have a negative effect on personal relationships, social interactions and lifestyle.

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