What is Chronic Pain?
Basically, as defined by Stanford University’s Dr. Sean Mackey, it meets the following criteria:
- Lasts longer than 3-6 month, or beyond the “expected” time of healing
- Serves NO physiological purpose
- Takes a toll on the individual and those in the sufferer’s life (from family members to society at large)
- It can be a symptom of another disease, but it can also be a disease in and of it’s own right
- The disease of Chronic Pain fundamentally alters our nervous system
- We’re learning that, like the disease of diabetes, Chronic Pain as a disease needs to be approached and managed as a chronic disease
- There are an estimated 100 million sufferers of chronic pain in the U.S. (a range that covers those who can self-manage at home and are still very functional to those who have a catastrophic level of pain)
- Costs are estimated to be over $ 1/2 a trillion per year in the U.S. (more than cancer, heart disease and diabetes combined)
(As explained in an excellent informative video found here.)
Stanford University’s Pain Medicine web-site also has a wealth of information on and resources for those living with Chronic Pain.