Possible causes of chronic pain include arthritis, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and shingles, according to WebMD. Other possible causes of chronic pain include low back pain, headaches and nerve damage. Chronic pain can also be the result of an injury that occurred in the past and has since healed, such as an infection, injury or surgical incision.
Although treating the underlying condition causing the chronic pain is important, many physicians believe that chronic pain is a condition of its own that requires psychological and physical treatment for the patient, notes WebMD. Sometimes chronic pain does not have a clear cause, and there may not be any discernible tissue damage.
Psychological problems such as anxiety or sadness may worsen chronic pain, explains WebMD. Studies have shown that how people react to their chronic pain directly affects how severe it can be. However, in some cases, mental stress may be the result of chronic pain, such as when an active person can no longer function at his usual physical level.
A doctor may recommend over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers to treat chronic pain, according to WebMD. Some antidepressants may also be effective for also treating chronic pain. It's important to seek out a doctor who treats chronic pain aggressively, both emotionally and medically.