Copyright (c) 2010 Lynsey Carter

Chronic pain has several different meanings in medicine. Traditionally, the distinction between acute and chronic pain has relied upon an arbitrary interval of time from onset; the two most commonly used markers being 3 months and 6 months since the initiation of pain, though some theorists and researchers have placed the transition from acute to chronic pain at 12 months.

Others apply acute to pain that lasts less than 30 days, chronic to pain of more than six months duration, and subacute to pain that lasts from one to six months. A popular alternative definition of chronic pain, involving no arbitrarily fixed durations is “pain that extends beyond the expected period of healing”. – thanks Wikipedia

Many of the people who are experiencing chronic pain in their lives, complain of very diverse symptoms associated with their pain, some of these symptoms being –
* hyperactivity – described as a physical state where a person is abnormally and easily excitable or exuberant. Strong emotional reactions / impulsive behavior / a short span of attention, are also typical for a hyperactive person. Some individuals may show these characteristics naturally, as your personality will differ from another person. Nonetheless, when hyperactivity starts to become a problem for the person or others, it may be classified as a medical disorder. The slang term “hyper” is used to describe someone who is in a hyperactive state – thanks again Wikipedia
* an elevated heart rate – when the heart beats rapidly, the heart pumps less efficiently and provides less blood flow to the rest of the body, including the heart itself. The increased heart rate also leads to increased work and oxygen demand for the heart (myocardium), which can lead to rate related Ischemia thus perhaps causing a heart attack (myocardial infarction) if it persists. This occurs because the decreased flow of necessary oxygen to the heart causes myocardial cells to begin to die off. Acutely, this leads to angina; and chronically to ischemic heart disease – thanks again Wikipedia
* elevated blood pressure – hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a chronic medical condition where your blood pressure in the arteries is elevated. It is classified as either primary (essential) or secondary. About 90-95% of cases are termed “primary hypertension”, which refers to high blood pressure for which no medical cause can be found – thanks again Wikipedia
* and various forms of sweating – both light sweating and excessive sweating, head sweating, and nervous sweating.

In response to the question of why does your chronic pain cause sweating, the answer to that is vitally important for you to understand about the reasons behind the issue of why chronic pain can cause sweating.

Well, How Does Chronic Pain Cause Sweating?

The majority of people have, or will have, experienced at least one occurance of chronic pain during their lifetime. This range of chronic pain causing sweating could include –
* pain from giving birth to their child;
* from the healing from a fracture;
* to being treated as the result of an injury.
As indicated in our first paragraph above, chronic pain persists for at least three months, and for some people, it will originate from a period of acute pain, which then grows into something more serious.

The more common form of chronic pain will be musculoskeletal, suggesting that it originates as pain in your back, your knees, your neck, your limbs and joints, and can include headaches, nerve injuries, surgical and postoperative pain, and traumatic injury are also common. Many other people will also suffer chronic pain and there will be no evidence of past injury or even any body damage. In these cases, the range of symptoms will appear to be less apparent than the symptoms of acute pain because, what tends to happens is that over time your autonomic nervous system adapts to the pain.

(( The autonomic nervous system (ANS or visceral nervous system) is the part of the peripheral nervous system that acts as a control system functioning largely below the level of consciousness, and controls visceral functions. The ANS affects heart rate, digestion, respiration rate, salivation, perspiration, diameter of the pupils, micturition (urination), and sexual arousal. Whereas most of its actions are involuntary, some, such as breathing, work in tandem with the conscious mind. It is traditionally subdivided into two subsystems – the parasympathetic nervous system and sympathetic nervous system. Relatively recently, a third subsystem of neurons that have been named ‘non-adrenergic and non-cholinergic’ neurons (because they use nitric oxide as a neurotransmitter) have been described and found to be integral in autonomic function, particularly in the gut and the lungs. – thanks again Wikipedia ))

Your chronic pain causes sweating for various different reasons, the major reason is that it is your body’s response to pain, and it is the primary signal of your body going through pain, and your body’s reaction to it.

There is an estimated 50 million Americans who experience chronic pain, with the fairer sex considered as more than likely to suffer from chronic pain than men will. Chronic pain will cause your sweating, as feeling constant pain will cause your body to change or react dramatically differently, some people will no longer be able to –
* work at a steady job earning a steady income;
* others lose their appetite, maybe even begin to overeat;
* end up with significant impairment of attention, affecting their education / employment / relaxation;
* need to rely on medication;
* and suffer from sleep disruption, with the result of exhaustion leading to feelings of irritability and depression.

Individuals with the highest levels of pain can even display disruption of their memory traces.

Some Treatment Options

Actually, there are some different forms of treatment available to chronic pain sufferers. The most common option is opioids medication. Opioids can provide short, intermediate and long lasting analgesia, depending upon the specific properties of the medication (( An opioid is a chemical that works by binding to opioid receptors, which are found principally in the central nervous system and the gastrointestinal tract. The receptors in these organ systems mediate both the beneficial effects and the side effects of opioids. The analgesic effects of opioids are due to decreased perception of pain, decreased reaction to pain as well as increased pain tolerance. The side effects of opioids include sedation, respiratory depression, and constipation. – thanks Wikipedia ))

Other treatment options take the form of –
* anti-inflammatory drugs, which can be administered through a single medication, or as combination with other analgesics;
* and antidepressants, which are used in chronic pain management, acting primarily within the pain pathways of the central nervous system.

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