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Severe chronic pain vs. intractable pain

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Unread 09-21-2011, 07:19 PM   #1
kittycapucine1974
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Default Severe chronic pain vs. intractable pain

Hi, everybody:

I would like to know what the differences are between severe chronic pain and intractable pain.

Thanks for your information.
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Unread 09-21-2011, 11:26 PM   #2
Leesa
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Hi ~ This is MY understanding of the two: Severe chronic pain is pain that is extremely bad, and has been going on for more than 3 months without relief.

Intractable pain is pain that is not relieved by ANYTHING -- nothing seems to work.

Now whether or not I'm correct could be up for discussion. LOL I hope this helps a little. Best of luck & God bless. Hugs, Lee
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Unread 09-22-2011, 12:46 PM   #3
Dr. Smith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittycapucine1974 View Post
I would like to know what the differences are between severe chronic pain and intractable pain.
Definitions can & do vary depending on the source, and there can be some overlap. (Intractable pain is chronic pain, but chronic pain is not necessarily intractable.)

Chronic pain is generally used with regard to the duration of the pain - pain that lasts beyond the "normal" period expected. Sources differ on that duration - anywhere from 3 - 12 months beyond what is expected. Chronic pain can be constant or intermittant.

Intractable is generally used with regard to constancy & nonresponsiveness to ordinary treatment measures.

Quote:
What is Intractable Pain?
According to many surveys, as many as half the adult population claims to have some form of chronic pain. Common causes include headaches, TMJ, carpal tunnel, backaches, bunions, arthritis, sciatica, and fibromyalgia. Chronic pain can be intermittent or persistent and may require over-the-counter or prescription drugs in standard, labeled dosages. Seldom does this pain interfere with activities of daily living or disable a person for more that a few days. Intractable Pain (IP) on the other hand, is very unusual and has four outstanding characteristics: (1) constant, (2) severe, (3) disabling, and (4) causes detectable biologic impacts on the body's blood pressure, pulse rate, hormone levels, and neurologic systems. It should be considered a serious catastrophic condition that, inadequately treated, leads to premature death. Some of its complications include dementia, osteoporosis, muscle wasting, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.

Definition of Intractable Pain
"A severe, constant pain that is not curable by any known means and which causes a bed or house-bound state and early death if not adequately treated. It causes adverse biologic affects on the body's cardiovascular, hormone, and neurologic systems."

From: http://intractablepaindisease.com/
Quote:
While not curable, [Intractable pain], like diabetes, and some other serious medical conditions, can be controlled to relieve suffering and prolong life.

ibid.
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Unread 09-22-2011, 01:52 PM   #4
kittycapucine1974
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Hi, Leesa and Dr. Smith:

I thought that severe chronic pain was severe pain that lasted beyond the time it took for the injury or disease causing the pain to heal. Some people say it is 3 months, others claim it is 6 months, and others 12 months.

As for intractable pain, I thought it was severe chronic pain that was hard to control, but not impossible to control.

According to what you typed, Leesa, it seems that I was wrong: you said intractable pain was pain that is not relieved by anything. According to Leesa, the severe chronic pain I have might not be intractable pain because my severe chronic pain is controlled with Duragesic, MSIR, and Tambocor.

According to the criteria Dr. Smith gave, the severe chronic pain I have could be intractable pain. Dr. Smith said: "Intractable Pain (IP) has four outstanding characteristics: (1) constant, (2) severe, (3) disabling, and (4) causes detectable biologic impacts on the body's blood pressure, pulse rate, hormone levels, and neurologic systems." My pain is: 1) constant (or permanent) without treatment, 2) severe (or intense) without treatment, 3) disabling (I cannot do almost anything without the treatment mentioned above), and 4) my blood pressure goes through the roof without treatment, my pulse rate increases without treatment, my hormone levels are always lower than the normal level...

Thank you both for your information. I have trouble deciding what type of pain I have. If it was intractable, doctors would take me more seriously instead of acting like my pain was in my mind and all I needed is a shrink. I admit I do hate shrinks because they treated me like the doctors I just mentioned.
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Unread 09-23-2011, 02:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kittycapucine1974 View Post
I have trouble deciding what type of pain I have. If it was intractable, doctors would take me more seriously instead of acting like my pain was in my mind and all I needed is a shrink.
Not necessarily. Here's another definition:
Quote:
intractable pain

Etymology: L, intractabilis, hard to manage, poena, penalty

pain that is not relieved by ordinary medical, surgical, and nursing measures. The pain is often chronic and persistent and can be psychogenic in nature.

http://medical-dictionary.thefreedic...tractable+pain
I'm not saying I don't believe you; I do. I'm just trying to illustrate how these definitions can differ, and this one acknowledges that intractable pain can be in one's head. Other sources will point out that this does not make the pain any less real!

If I may suggest, google: definition intractable pain, read the entire site I quoted in my previous post, download Dr. Tennant's Intractable Pain Patient's Handbook for Survival, and peruse his other site:
http://www.foresttennant.com/

I know, lots to read & learn, but we have to in order to help our doctors help us. FWIW (and if it helps), September is Pain Awareness Month:
http://www.painfoundation.org/get-involved/pam/
google: pain awareness month

HTH,

Doc
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