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When you hear people talk about being in pain, it can be hard to know whether they are talking about chronic pain, which is pain lasting 3 months or more that may be due to a condition such as arthritis, or acute pain, which is pain that is often short lived – up to about a month. Whatever pain you may experience there’s usually something that can help with it. Don’t let pain stop you in your tracks.
The most common forms of chronic pain that kiwis experience, along with arthritis, are musculoskeletal pain disorders such as:
- Lower back pain (may include leg pain and/or sciatica)
- Neck pain (plus or minus arm pain)
- Whole-body pain (fibromyalgia)
Chronic pain is often called the “invisible disability” as the source of the pain cannot be seen by others, making the impact of pain hard for others to understand.
People with chronic pain often have poor quality sleep due to pain waking them at night and/or preventing their sleep from going into a deep sleep. When lying down to sleep, gravity becomes our enemy as the sensitive nerves become squashed. Some people resort to sleeping on bean bags or hammocks to get relief from pain.
Acute pain (short term) usually comes on suddenly and is caused by something specific. It can be a sharp feeling. Acute pain usually lasts less than three months. It goes away when there is no longer an underlying cause for the pain.
Causes of acute pain can include:
- Period pain
- Broken bones
Pain can be a very personal and subjective experience. There are a number of different treatment options that help with pain. One such group of medicines called coxibs are used to relieve pain and inflammation in a number of conditions such as: 1
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Ankylosing Spondylitis
- Period pain
- After surgery
Ask your doctor if a coxib could help you with managing your pain. Click here to learn more.
Taps NA9116 08.05.17
- Health Report – Chronic Pain Pfizer, Arthritis NZ 2013