Chronic Pain (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
What Increases Your Risk
Risk factors are things that increase your chances of getting sick or having a problem. Risk factors for chronic pain include:
Other risk factors include stress, relationship problems, or a history of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse.
When To Call a Doctor
Call a doctor about chronic pain if:
Watchful waiting is a period of time during which you and your doctor watch your symptoms without using medical treatment.
During this period of watchful waiting, your doctor may have you try to get more sleep, work on reducing stress, and get more exercise. If you are able to control pain with exercise, massage, and pain relievers, you may not need further treatment.
But watchful waiting is not appropriate if your pain is severe or if it interferes with your life. If you delay treatment, the pain may get worse.
Who to see
If you have mild to moderate pain that keeps coming back and that you can't manage at home on your own, you may need to see one of the following health professionals:
If your chronic pain is moderate to severe and is constant, or if treatment does not control the pain, you may need to see a specialist, such as one or more of the following:
Often more than one specialist will treat your chronic pain. For example, a primary physician may manage your medicines, and a physical therapist may help you restore function through exercise or other treatments. A professional counselor may help you with coping and depression. Someone else may help you with acupuncture or yoga.
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.
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