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Understanding Chronic Pain

All of us feel pain from time to time but chronic pain lasts for weeks, even months and can debilitate you mentally and physically. Find out more about chronic pain and how to deal with it.

Pain is a feeling of discomfort that comes with injury, illness or medical conditions. While some pains are temporary and can be subdued by mild painkillers, others are more serious, intense and long lasting.

The brain receives signals from the nervous system that something is wrong with the body in the form of pain. Pain is a way of the body to identify harm or danger and to trigger the brain into taking caution or remedial action.

A pain that lasts from three to six months is called chronic pain. The state of constant pain has a negative impact on the mental health and affects the overall wellbeing of the person.

Being in pain all the time causes other issues like depression and anxiety and may result in a condition called the chronic pain syndrome (CPS).


Chronic pain can occur due to several reason such as ageing, medical issues, nerve damage, injury. People may have chronic pain due to underlying problems like Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia, cancer, multiple sclerosis, stomach ulcers, AIDS, and gallbladder disease, Phantom Limb Pain etc.

"The discomfort caused by chronic pain is aggravated by the insensitivity of people towards patients. There is lack of awareness amongst people about chronic pain and the various conditions that may cause it such as invisible disabilities and disorders. Also there is a lot of stigma around pain and illness in our society and people avoid talking about them. This only makes the situation worse and patients are forced to suffer in silence says columnist Pooja Priyamvada.

In some cases, multiple factors may cause chronic pain and diagnoses may remain unknown due to complexities.


The intensity and location of the pain may vary from person to person. Patients go through stress due to the pain and the way it affects the quality of life.

Since the pain may come with an invisible condition, many a times people are not taken seriously as they seem fine and healthy on the outside. Many people face social stigma and discrimination and are forced to stay silenced as talking about pain is considered a weakness or attention seeking trait.

Lack of awareness amongst medical professionals also hampers proper diagnoses and patients suffer pain for years.

For people with chronic pain, life is not easy. We are pain warriors who are trying to live our lives despite being in pain all the time. What we need is to make people understand about the challenges faced by people with chronic pain. - Dr. Anubha Mahajan, Founder, Chronic Pain India

Building greater awareness is important so people suffering chronic pain can seek help and support.


Physicians and doctors may prescribe pain killers to the patients to make their pain bearable depending on the reason behind the pain. Counselling, physical therapy, relaxation techniques, mediation may help chronic pain sufferers to get some relief from the mental agony.

People with chronic pain should join support groups and get more information about their problems. Being a party of a group can help feel less isolated and making friends helps feel less stressed.

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