Why Does Chronic Pain Make You Tired?

why does chronic pain make you tiredWe have all experienced pain from time to time, whether it’s a paper cut or a sprained ankle. Generally, we can trust that pain from minor injuries such as these will subside over time. Chronic pain is different: this pain doesn’t go away for months or even years, leading to many negative health effects such as fatigue. Why does chronic pain make you tired, and how can you find relief?

What is Chronic Pain and What Causes It?

Research from the National Institutes of Health found that 11% of all U.S. adults live with chronic pain. This pain can range from mild to severe and often leads to fatigue and depression. Chronic pain is also found to have negative impacts on the brain. Doctors typically define chronic pain as any pain that lasts for more than three months. Chronic pain can be caused by a variety of conditions, including:

  • Past injuries or surgeries
  • Back problems
  • Migraines
  • Arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other illnesses
  • Nerve damage
  • Infections

The sensation of pain is caused by the nervous system. When an injury occurs, pain sensors in the area create a message (encoded as an electrical signal) and send it to the brain via the nerves. The brain processes the signal and sends out the appropriate response: i.e., pain. If the pain is due to an injury, the pain signal typically stops being sent once the injury is healed. However, in the case of chronic pain, the pain signals continue to be sent even after the cause of the pain has been resolved. If chronic pain is being caused by a disease, then the underlying illness must be addressed and treated in order to bring relief.

Why Does Chronic Pain Make You Tired?

When you are experiencing chronic pain, your body expends large amounts of energy to try to deal with the pain. This depletion of energy alone makes you feel tired, but it is compounded by other complications, such as:

These problems often feed into each other, creating a vicious cycle of pain and fatigue. Sleep is critical to the body’s ability to heal and repair itself. Insufficient sleep weakens the immune system, making it harder for the body to battle the injury, infection, or illness that is causing the chronic pain. A lack of sleep also lowers your pain threshold and tolerance, making the pain feel more intense. Pain and not enough sleep cause the body to be stressed, which can also intensify the pain and make it more difficult to sleep.

Find Relief from Chronic Pain at Anchor Wellness Center

The first steps in treating chronic pain are identifying and treating the underlying cause, reducing pain levels, and getting restorative sleep. Dr. Minni Malhotra, MD, FAARM, ABAARM, can develop a treatment plan that addresses the source of your chronic pain effectively, bringing you relief. As a Board Certified physician in Family Medicine as well as Board Certified with the American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine, Dr. Malhotra won’t just treat your symptoms; she will treat the underlying cause to bring you long-term relief.

Call us today at (832) 246-8437 to schedule a consultation and address your chronic pain.

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