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Anne Asher

When Pain Becomes Chronic - And Why It Doesn't Matter

By February 20, 2014

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A reader emailed me to tell me that my definition of chronic pain was wrong, stating that it is pain lasting 6 months or longer.

To this I say, the phrase is meant to express long term pain as opposed to acute pain.

But the distinction the reader points out may make a difference where treatment decisions are concerned.  That's why I encourage researching and understanding your diagnosis, as well as your options for pain management.

My reasoning:  If you understand it, you can can advocate for yourself, and you may come closer to the solution that best fits you where you're at - no matter how long it's been.  In fact, many people, myself included (I admit sheepishly) have ignored the need for getting their neck or back checked immediately after an injury because the pain wasn't that bad or they were too busy with other things, or some other reason.  Here's a case for why that is not such a good idea:  Early Treatment May Help You Avoid a Chronic Back Condition.

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