Chronic pain can present in strange and unexpected ways. Sometimes it’s the result of an initial injury – one that, even months after healing, has started to hurt again. Maybe the pain has spread to an unaffected area. Whatever these unexpected symptoms are, know that treatment options can help you find relief.
What Is Chronic Pain?
“Acute pain lets you know that you may be injured or have a problem you need to take care of. Chronic pain is different. The pain may last for weeks, months, or even years. The original cause may have been an injury or infection. There may be an ongoing cause of pain, such as arthritis or cancer.” There is no real cause in some cases, but environmental and psychological influencers can make chronic pain worse.
Unexpected Symptoms Of Chronic Pain
Pain affects everyone differently, and while acute pain mostly has known causes and treatment options, chronic pain is just the opposite. When you’re unprepared, it can sneak up on you in unexpected ways.
- Without warning, the pain suddenly erupts and becomes constant, going up or down depending on what you’re doing. Some people describe it as a “burning” or “pins and needles” feeling or compare it to the sensation of their limb being crushed. As a result, if chemical signals in the brain keep firing, pain can migrate to encompass the whole limb, even if the spot which originally hurt was smaller. You can experience “mirror pain” in the same spot on the opposite limb in rare cases. This pain may be a case of secondary involvement of nerve cells, but the pain is less intense and disappears when the injured nerves get better.
- Excess or sustained pain following physical activity or contact. There is often heightened sensitivity in the spot that hurts, where a gentle touch, typical physical contact, and limb use are perceived as extremely painful. Some people report severe or sustained pain after something as mild as a pinprick called hyperalgesia.
- You may notice variations in skin temperature, skin pigment, or inflammation of whatever limb hurts. Strangely, the injured limb may feel warmer or cooler to the touch than the corresponding limb. Skin can even change color, becoming mottled, blue, gray, pale, purple, or red. Such skin symptoms normally fluctuate due to abnormal blood movement in the affected limb.
- Your skin texture may change over time, caused by the inadequate delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the affected limb. In some areas, your skin becomes shiny and thin, and in others, it may have a thick and scaly appearance.
- You notice unusual sweating on the affected limb and even hair growth or longer nails. For whichever limb experiences chronic pain, hair, and nails could grow fast – or not at all. There also could be instances of profuse sweating or not sweating, even if the skin feels warm to the touch. Neural control and local blood circulation are big influencers.
- You’ve got chronic pain in your arm, and it feels very stiff. If you suffer from chronic pain, a natural side effect is reduced movement resulting in reduced plasticity of tendons and ligaments. Nerves can get pinched when this happens, resulting in even more chronic pain.
- A medical exam, particularly using x-rays or other imaging tests, could reveal wasting away or additional bone growth. Rough or enlarged bones, sometimes after a poorly healed fracture or caused by a bone cyst, can aggravate passing nerves and trigger or extend chronic pain.
- Finally, you can’t help but notice diminished muscle strength and movement. This is normally caused by pain and defects in the sensory input that helps synchronize movements. Other causes: excess inflammation, poor circulation, tremors in the affected limb, or jerking.
Many of the symptoms can be managed with therapy or ketamine infusion treatment.
Around twenty percent of U.S. adults deal with symptoms of chronic pain, including some of the unusual or unexpected ones we’ve delved into today. Fortunately, even the worst cases can find relief with the right treatment at Invictus Clinic.
Give us a call today and our friendly still be glad to help you schedule your consultation.