Pain is considered chronic when it persists for more than 12 weeks. Some cases of chronic pain last for years.
Treatment plans for chronic pain usually include symptom relief and support. Members of a multidisciplinary team work together to help patients manage chronic pain. These doctors and specialists include neurologists, neurosurgeons, orthopedists, orthopedic surgeons, anesthesiologists, physiatrists, oncologists, physical therapists, occupational therapists and nurses. Social workers and case managers are also vital for coordinating chronic pain care.
The goal of chronic pain management is to improve daily function and quality of life. Health experts encourage patients and families to actively participate in treatment programs, a strategy that helps optimize treatment outcomes.