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September 17, 2018

It’s Not all in Your Head: Ways Chronic Pain Can Change Your Life

Joyce Knestrick, PhD, CRNP, FAANP

Chronic pain is the most popular reason people see their NP or other provider. It’s also the leading cause of long-term disability. Roughly 100 million people experience chronic pain, and today alone, 25 million are suffering. While many are quick to discredit pain as a condition as devastating as something like cancer, there are just as many who can attest to the life-altering effects of constant pain. Pain can:

  • Affect body function, causing insomnia, loss of appetite, faster breathing and weight gain.
  • Cause emotional distress, leading to anxiety, low self-esteem and depression.  
  • Result in social isolation and impact important personal and professional relationships.
  • Lead to a loss in work and life productivity.
  • Be inherently frustrating, and last months or even years without effective treatment.

If you’re concerned your chronic pain is all in your head, talk to your NP. Chronic pain is real, common and manageable when you work with someone you trust to get to the bottom of your symptoms.