Can My Chronic Pain Ever Be Cured?


Q. Can my chronic pain ever be cured?

A. One big difference between chronic conditions and acute illness is that a chronic condition generally requires life-long management. An acute injury or illness has a definite beginning and end, but chronic nerve, or neuropathic, pain endures. However, with proper medication, your feelings of discomfort may be significantly lessened.

Opioids are less effective in treating neuropathic pain than they are in treating acute pain. But other drugs such as anti-epilepsy medicines and antidepressants may be helpful. Even though pain may not be fully reversible, treatment can lessen its severity and allow you to enjoy a more vibrant life.

It should also be said that it is not uncommon for an identifiable cause of pain to be discovered during a clinical evaluation, in which case your physician can offer treatment to help the underlying problem.

— Pain specialist Michael Stanton-Hicks, MD