(SD-SP) Pain that doesn’t go away after an extended period of time can be very disruptive to everyday life. If you or someone you know is facing chronic pain, here are five important things to remember.

Chronic Pain Can Come From Almost Anywhere

Chronic pain, which is one of the leading causes of disability globally, can have many different causes. It can be from an injury or accident that never seems to “heal.” Or, chronic pain may also be caused by an underlying health condition such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome or arthritis – just to name a few.

Everyone’s Experience is Different

Pain is very personal. People living with the same injuries or the same health conditions will all experience the severity and disruption of chronic pain in different ways. People with pain live different lifestyles and everyone has their own journey.

“Because all humans have felt pain to a certain degree at some point in their lives, people tend to make assumptions about what someone may be dealing with based on their own experiences,” said Thomas Smith, MD, and Chief Medical Officer at BioDelivery Sciences International. “It is very important to listen closely to how someone is feeling and to try to withhold any judgement.”

Take the Time to Talk to a Healthcare Provider

Because chronic pain is an invisible disease, it is important to have an open, detailed conversation with your healthcare provider about your day-to-day life so that they can help steer you in the proper direction for an effective treatment. “Finding a healthcare provider that you trust is key,” said Dr. Smith. “You may end up being referred to a chronic pain specialist who has specific knowledge of the condition and how to tailor a treatment regimen that fits in with your lifestyle.”

There Are Multiple Ways to Manage Pain

Since there are a lot of ways people experience chronic pain, there are also different approaches to treating the condition. Non-pharmaceutical therapies might include occupational therapy, physical therapy, exercise or even acupuncture. There are also several different kinds of pharmaceutical treatments available, in different formulations and doses, each with their own benefits.

People Are Learning More About It Every Day

The more awareness there is surrounding chronic pain, the more researchers, healthcare professionals, patients and their caregivers can learn about it and deliver needed solutions to the people who need them.

Remember, no one living with chronic pain needs to suffer alone.  A support network of healthcare professionals, friends, family, and caregivers can help those with chronic pain get back to living life to the fullest.