Pain is an undeniably complex and deeply personal experience. While occasional aches and discomforts are a part of life, sometimes the agony refuses to fade, transforming into a condition known as chronic pain. Understanding chronic pain can feel daunting. Dr Sonny Rubin will discuss the diverse spectrum of conditions that fall under the umbrella of chronic pain.

Chronic Pain: The Basics

Typically, when the body experiences an injury or strain, it’s normal to feel pain as a signal that something is wrong. However, when the discomfort lingers beyond the usual healing period, typically more than 12 weeks, it becomes chronic pain. Chronic pain is not just a symptom, but at times, it can be a disease in itself, with residual effects on physical, emotional, and social well-being.

Musculoskeletal Pain

Musculoskeletal pain is related to the muscles, ligaments, tendons, or bones supporting the body. This type of chronic pain may arise from conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic lower back pain, neck pain, and sciatica.

Nerve Pain

Nerve pain, also called neuropathic pain, usually develops as an outcome of damage or dysfunction in the nervous system. Common neuropathic pain conditions include postherpetic neuralgia (pain after shingles), diabetic neuropathy, trigeminal neuralgia, and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).

Pelvic Pain

Pelvic pain includes discomfort in the region of the lower abdomen or pelvis and may originate from various causes. Some common chronic pelvic pain conditions are endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), interstitial cystitis (also called painful bladder syndrome), and chronic prostatitis.

Headaches and Migraines

Chronic headaches and migraines can be a debilitating source of persistent pain. Dr Sonny Rubin states that conditions related to this category include chronic migraines, cluster headaches, tension-type headaches, and cancer pain.

Pain related to cancer can emerge from the tumors themselves or as a side-effect of cancer treatments like surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation. This pain often proves to be unyielding and requires specialized strategies for relief.

The Landscape of Chronic Pain: Unique Yet Interlinked

Understanding chronic pain and identifying the root cause is essential for devising effective treatment plans. While the above-discussed conditions might appear distinctive, they share a common thread – that of persistent pain altering various aspects of life.

The experience, though, is unique to each person suffering from chronic pain, depending on factors like the cause, severity, and duration of the pain, as well as how the person perceives and reacts to it.

Managing Chronic Pain: A Multidimensional Approach


Since chronic pain often impacts physical, emotional, and social well-being, a comprehensive approach to treatment is crucial. Pain management typically revolves around a range of interventions. Depending on the underlying cause, healthcare professionals might also suggest disease-specific interventions.

For Dr Sonny Rubin, it’s essential to remember that while some chronic pain conditions might be curable, others might not. However, even in circumstances where complete healing is not attainable, the focus can be on enhancing quality of life and minimizing pain’s impact on daily activities.

Navigating the nuances of chronic pain is undeniably challenging; however, it’s vital to stay hopeful and not let pain define one’s existence. By garnering an inclusive understanding of the conditions that qualify as chronic pain and seeking appropriate professional guidance, individuals can find the strength and resources to manage their pain effectively, ultimately paving the way for a life that’s lived — not just despite of pain but beyond it.