We often want a quick fix for everything in our lives and pain is no different. Chronic pain is typically defined as pain that is present for 6 months or longer. The study of pain, called pain science, can be complicated and is beyond the scope of this blog, however a simple concept to understand is that chronic pain is processed differently in the brain than acute pain (post-surgical pain, pain felt immediately after a trauma, etc).
People dealing with chronic pain often express how much it changes them- physically, emotionally and spiritually. Unfortunately, many people use narcotics to treat pain (acute or chronic) to get relief which often results in an addictive cycle.
Studies are consistently showing that skilled physical therapy is safer (obviously!) and more cost effective than narcotics. Be sure to think physical therapy first before you ask your physician for medication to treat pain.