What is Chronic Pain?
Learn more about what can trigger the long-term development of chronic pain
Pain acts as an alarm system within the body, triggered when sensory nerve cells, known as nociceptors, detect tissue damage and transmit information about this damage along the spinal cord to the brain.
The experience of pain is different for every person, and there are various ways to feel and describe pain, depending on how the brain interprets pain signals to the body. Pain can feel relentless, often burning and stinging, and may be felt in one area of your body, such as your back or hip, or it may be felt all over.
Pain becomes chronic when it persists for longer than six months and can often be rooted in unseen causes. Unlike acute pain, which has a specific, treatable cause, chronic pain can continue even after the injury or illness has been treated, making it more complex to treat and manage.
As one of the most common chronic conditions in the United States, approximately 1 in 5 adults experience chronic pain. While it can appear at any age, it is more prevalent in aging adults and affects women more often than men.
Learn More About Chronic Pain
Additional Resources for Chronic Pain and Education for Pain Management
Dean Stroud Spine and Pain Institute at Shepherd Center
2020 Peachtree Road NW
Atlanta, GA 30309-1465
Monday to Thursday
8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. ET
8:30 a.m. - Noon ET