We all experience pain at some point in our lives. But how do you know if you’re
living with chronic pain? According to Dr. Robert I. Danoff, DO, an osteopathic
family physician from Philadelphia, chronic pain is a persistent pain that lasts
for three to six months or longer, and lingers beyond the “normal” expected course
Headaches, joint pain, pain from injury, and backaches are the most common sources
of pain, Dr. Danoff explains. Other kinds of chronic pain include tendinitis,
sinus pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, diabetic neuropathy, fibromyalgia, and pain
affecting specific parts of the body, such as the shoulders, pelvis, and neck.
What are the symptoms of chronic pain?
When dealing with chronic pain, experiences can vary greatly. “Some people experience shooting,
burning or stabbing pains, while others experience a ‘pins and needles’ feeling, or soreness,
tightness and stiffness,” explains Dr. Danoff.
Pain is almost always associated with a number of related symptoms like sleeplessness,
withdrawal from activity, weakened immune system, and changes in mood. “One of the most
devastating effects of chronic pain is the emotional toll it takes on the individual,” says Dr. Danoff.
What are the treatment options for chronic pain?
Just as there are multiple types of chronic pain, there are many available
treatment options, from medication to hands-on techniques. If you are living
with chronic pain, Dr. Danoff recommends using the American Osteopathic Association’s
online pain quiz and assessment tool to help define your pain. Additionally, you should
schedule an appointment with your physician to create an individualized treatment plan.
Preventive medicine is just one aspect of care osteopathic physicians (DOs) provide. DOs are
fully licensed to prescribe medicine and practice in all specialty areas, including surgery.
DOs are trained to consider the health of the whole person and use their hands to help diagnose
and treat their patients. To learn more about osteopathic medicine, visit