Pain is something we all experience, whether it’s the prick we feel when we step on something sharp, the dull ache of a sports injury or the emotional ache we feel after a loss. Either way, pain signals travel along nerves, up our spinal cord and to our brain as an evolutionary response to let us know that something is not right. Usually, when the threat is gone, tissues have healed, or the loss is overcome, the pain leaves. But when the pain persists, it is chronic pain, and it is often due to a larger, more persistent problem. If this describes you, you are not alone, and there is hope.
Chronic pain can be due to a variety of conditions and diseases such as arthritis (joint pain), severe burns, sciatica (pressure on sciatic nerve which runs down the legs) or fibromyalgia. When the pain becomes unbearable, treatment of the underlying condition becomes secondary to management of the pain itself.
Generally pain is treated with prescription drugs although treatments such as chiropractic and acupuncture methods may also be used. Pain killers, antidepressants, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly prescribed as a treatment for pain. Opioids such as codeine and morphine are prescribed in cases of severe pain, but may cause side effects such as constipation, nausea and vomiting in cases where the correct dosage is not established for the patient. As a result, individuals who are at the greatest need for pain relief are the most at risk to experience side effects from their treatments.
Further research is needed in the management of chronic pain and the CCCT is committed to improving treatment options for patients. Pain management trials are continuously ongoing and more information can be found at: