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Chronic Pain

What Is Chronic Pain?

chronic-pain-treatment-floreat-perthMany Australians live with chronic pain, often unnecessarily. Chronic pain can be mild or excruciating, episodic or continuous, merely inconvenient … or totally incapacitating.

Signals from chronic pain can remain active in the nervous system for months or even years. This can take a physical, emotional and even psychological toll on an individual.

The most common sources of chronic pain stem from headaches, joint pain, pain from injury and backaches, and pain affecting specific parts of the body, such as the shoulders, pelvis, and neck. Other kinds of chronic pain include tendinitis, sinus pain, carpal tunnel syndrome. Even generalised muscle or nerve pain can become chronic.

Chronic pain may originate with an initial infection, injury or trauma. Some people suffer chronic pain in the absence of any past injury or evidence of body damage.

The emotional toll of chronic pain also can make pain worse. There is considerable evidence that unrelenting pain can suppress the immune system. Anxiety, stress, depression, anger, and fatigue all interact in complex ways with chronic pain. This may decrease the body’s production of natural painkillers. Such negative feelings may also increase the level of natural substances that amplify sensations of pain, causing a vicious cycle of pain for the person.

What Are the Symptoms of Chronic Pain?

The symptoms of chronic pain include:

  • Mild to severe pain that does not go away
  • Pain that may be described as shooting, burning, aching, or electrical
  • Feeling of discomfort, soreness, tightness, or stiffness

Pain is not a symptom that exists alone. Other problems associated with pain can include:


  • Fatigue
  • Sleeplessness
  • Withdrawal from activity and increased need to rest
  • Weakened immune system
  • Changes in mood including hopelessness, fear, depression, irritability, anxiety, and stress
  • Disability