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Exploring the Most Common Causes of Chronic Pain

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If you live with chronic pain, you’re not alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that over 50 million Americans live with a chronic pain condition. Chronic pain leads to lost work, reduced mobility, and negatively impacts your quality of life, and depending on your condition, it can be challenging to diagnose and treat.

Common causes of chronic pain

Back and neck pain

Spine pain that affects your back and neck are two of the most common locations of chronic pain. An extremely wide range of injuries and degenerative conditions cause back and neck pain, ranging from your posture and leading a sedentary lifestyle to arthritis or injuries like whiplash. With such a variety of potential causes of pain, it can sometimes take a little trial and error to identify the cause of your pain and the best treatment.

Spinal issues can also cause sciatica. Sciatica is the name of the pain, numbness, and tingling sensations that shoot down either one or both of your legs when your sciatic nerve is compressed. The most common cause of sciatica is a herniated disc in your lower spine.


There are over a hundred different types of arthritis that cause chronic and debilitating joint pain. Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent type of the disease. It develops as the cartilage that cushions your bones wears away. Then, when you move your bones rub together without any lubrication or protection, causing irritation, inflammation, and pain. Other common types of arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that affects the synovium in your joints, and gout, a condition where uric acid crystal deposits build up in your joints.


Fibromyalgia is often challenging to diagnose as there’s no single test available to identify the disease. Also, symptoms not only vary between patients but also come and go, causing flare-ups and periods of remission. If you have chronic pain, tenderness, fatigue, and cognitive issues, fibromyalgia may be the root cause of your symptoms.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) and other nerve problems

MS damages your nervous system, causing pain, weakness, and other disruptive and uncomfortable sensations. It also increases your risk of falling or injuring yourself in other ways. While symptoms vary between patients and in severity, it’s common for patients with MS to live with some degree of chronic pain.

Also, neuropathy, or nerve damage, can cause pain and weakness throughout your body. Many patients develop neuropathy in their legs, not only causing painful tingling sensations but also increasing their risk of falls and developing ulcers. Diabetes is a common cause of neuropathy.

Reproductive health issues

Women may suffer from debilitating pelvic pain stemming from a variety of reproductive health issues such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, polycystic ovary syndrome, and vulvodynia. While you might think that menstrual cramping is all part of a woman’s life, your pain shouldn’t interfere with your life and regular activities. Pain is your body’s way of saying something is wrong and you should talk to your doctor about your symptoms.

What should I do if I have chronic pain?

If you live with pain every day, make an appointment with your trusted provider at Maiden Lane Medical. The team of physicians and clinical staff are not only expertly trained and experienced but also compassionate and sympathetic. They take your concerns and symptoms seriously and will always make time to listen to you and treat you with dignity and respect, while also providing customized treatments and therapies to manage your pain.

The team at Maiden Lane Medical offers comprehensive diagnostics to identify the cause of your pain. While you may need to have several rounds of testing to reach a diagnosis, the physicians and staff will not stop until they know what’s causing your pain and how to both relieve your pain and heal your body.

Medically Reviewed By

Jennifer Zocca, MD
Medical Director and Pain Management Physician