Chronic Widespread Pain – A common yet challenging problem
A pain persisting for more than three months falls into the category of chronic pain. In past few decades, it has gone on to become one of the major public health issues. Chronic pain can affect any part of the body and often the exact reason for the pain is unidentified. Thus, it is referred to as chronic unspecified and vague pain. However, its occurrence is pretty common as one in every five individuals suffers from chronic unspecified and vague pain.
Chronic unspecified and vague pain – Inception
Chronic pain mostly starts with an acute injury or illness. Under this condition, the pain lasts for more than 3 months. However, under chronic unspecified and vague pain, the reasons are not known. This pain causes complications which lead to other health issues.
Chronic unspecified and vague pain - Prevalence
Twenty-one of the 100 converters examined turned out to have chronic widespread pain (Table III), as Defined by the ACR criteriaDespite suffering from chronic unspecified and vague pain, most of the people manage to live with it. However, there is a substantial minority which has experienced disability and reduced quality of life due to negligence. Thus, chronic unspecified and vague pain cannot be overlooked.
Chronic unspecified and vague pain – Studies
In a population survey conducted in South Norway, the incidence of fibromyalgia were assessed in females. A screening questionnaire regarding the pain was distributed in the year 1990 and 1995. During the course of this survey, 2498 females between the ages of 20-49 years took part. The answers given by them were classified as – positive, merely negative and negative. Among these patients, one hundred females converting from negative to positive responders and 100 females remaining negative responders (controls) underwent a structural interview and examination for tender points (TP). Of the 870 negative responders in 1990, 717 answered the questionnaire in 1995. Of these, 523 were still negative responders, while 194 were positive converters. Based on the study, it was revealed that the calculated annual incidence of FM in females was 583/100 000. Furthermore, these incidences are not detected in hospital settings.
Chronic unspecified and vague pain - Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is one of the major reasons for chronic unspecified and vague pain. It is characterised by widespread chronic pain, fatigue, reduced sleep quality and multiple tender points. Fibromyalgia is one of the major health issues in today’s time. Studies relating to Fibromyalgia have found that prevalence of chronic unspecified and vague body pain being present between 3-10.5%. The most difficult part is the intangibility. Due to this, the pain is complicated to manage.
Chronic unspecified and vague pain - A vicious cycle
Chronic unspecified and vague pain results in a vicious cycle of pain. Under this condition, the original chronic pain worsens due to the secondary complications. These secondary complications are the result of chronic pain. It includes lack of sleep, anxiety, fear, stress and depression. So it is a chronic pain which results in these conditions, and then these conditions worsen the primary chronic pain.
The most disheartening part about the disease is that the outcome of the condition cannot be explained. Several studies have indicated the prevalence and how it is impacting the quality of life. However, medical experts along with the patients are working collectively towards resolving it. For medical practitioners, it is essential that the ideas, concerns and expectations of the people be addressed. It will not only help to cure their pain but also to restore their quality of life.