Chronic pain is one of the most common health issues that affect people all across the world. It can feel like shooting pain, or a dull ache. Sometimes, you can feel a throbbing, squeezing pain, or an unexplainable stiffness. While chronic pain may come and go for some people, others experience constant pain for days, months, or even years.
Additionally, chronic pain can be caused by a myriad of reasons. It may be due to a past injury, an illness, or a prevailing health condition. Chronic pain has both long-term and short-term effects. Short-term effects include the inability to sleep, numbness, inflammation, swelling, and fever, among others.
Are There Any Long-Term Effects of Chronic Pain?
As mentioned above, chronic pain can come and go for years. If left untreated or if the treatment method is unsuccessful, numerous long-term effects can occur. Here are some of them:
One of the most common long-term effects of chronic pain is altered moods. A person experiencing chronic pain may be occasionally grumpier than usual with low moods. Mood swings can occur depending on the intensity of pain one is under. Additionally, one can experience other mental health disorders like anxiety disorders and depression.
Suicide Ideations and Attempts
The prevalence of mental health issues in people who have experienced chronic pain for a long duration is higher than for those who haven’t. As such, suicidal attempts and ideations are also at a much higher rate. These psychological effects of chronic pain make it important to seek help.
Impaired Sexual Function
Long-term chronic pain can also lead to impaired sexual function. It’s not uncommon for people living in pain to lose confidence in their sexual prowess or ability to please their spouses. This may stem from their inability to perform certain sexual positions, in preference to one that causes as little pain as possible. Additionally, most spouses may reduce their sexual activities to avoid triggering pain in sexual partners living with chronic pain.
Inability to sleep
Chronic pain often leads to insomnia for a lot of people. The inability to fall asleep or remain asleep for a certain period can leave one feeling tired and unable to function well. You should also note that disturbed sleep will vary from patient to patient depending on the intensity of pain.
Diminished Quality of Life
Chronic pain can dissuade you from carrying out the activities you once found pleasure in doing. If you used to be a manual worker and lifting weights as part of the job, you may be unable to do so. Apart from employment status, other factors in your life that will be affected include social interactions, mental health, personal relationships, and quality of sleep.
Like with other chronic conditions, it’s important to get medical help for chronic pain as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more probable you are to experience some or all of the above-mentioned long-term effects of chronic pain. For more information, you can get in touch with us and fill in the form below.