Have you been nursing a broken spine or limb for a long period of time and not know about it? It may be caused by a bad fall during any sports activity such as basketball, skiing, horse-back riding or a football game wherein you've been misdiagnosed with only a slight injury. And after the injury heals, there seems to have developed an intense back pain that made regular activities such as sleeping and moving around too difficult to do. The pain goes on and would never seem to leave you. Aside from the stress and agony it brings, chronic pain can lead to other serious medical conditions.

While acute pain comes on suddenly and lasts for a limited period of time, chronic pain, on the other hand, persists and last for several moths or even years.

Identifying the source of pain is the first step to treat chronic pain, the most common type of which include back pain, headaches, arthritis, cancer pain, and neuropathic pain. Chronic pain shouldn't be ignored as it could be a symptom of an injury or unknown disease like Fibromyalgia. It is characterized by fatigue and widespread pain in muscles and joints. According to some experts, the condition may be connected to injury, changes in muscle metabolism, or viruses, though the exact cause is unclear.

Regardless of the type of chronic pain, patient's career, family and future may suffer and get ruined. Some people would even commit suicide in order to put an end to chronic pain.

Chronic pain may go on for weeks, months, or years and may not always respond to treatment. Without relief, or the hope for relief, it can be debilitating and may become the defining factor in patients' lives. They lose the ability to eat, sleep, work, and function normally.

Since pain varies from person to person, treatment is individualized. Providing as much pain relief as possible and improving function is the goal of pain management. People with arthritis may do well with occasional use of an over-the-counter pain reliever, whereas someone else with arthritis may need a prescription pain reliever and regular aerobic exercise to feel good.

There is more to treatment for chronic pain than medication. It can also involve stress relief and relaxation, physical therapy, improved sleep and nutrition habits.

When chronic pain starts to interfere with the quality of one's life, it is time to seek professional help. Another reason to seek advice from a specialist is if one is experiencing intolerable side effects from medications. The fear of becoming addicted to pain medications is always the concern of both patients and their doctors.

People suffering from chronic pain need support groups in order to deal with all of the issues regarding chronic pain such as lack of concern, frustration, how to communicate pain to your doctor, and how to maintain relations with your family. Pain may be inevitable, but suffering can be optional.