All Fatigue is Not Created Equal: Why it Matters, and What it Means for Pain Management

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An Australian university website has a feature about fatigue and pain. It notes that patients with chronic pain are likely to be fatigued. The writer notes the results of an experiment, in which his group looked at the different types of fatigue - overall, emotional, mental, and others - and their interactions with pain. The group reported that overall fatigue came before pain. This suggests that fatigue might be the body's protective mechanism. The full report link is embedded.

Key Takeaways:

  • Total fatigue can significantly predict pain interference with social and recreational activities
  • Sub-types of fatigue do not necessarily overlap meaning you can feel mental fatigue without feeling physical fatigue
  • The different sub-types of fatigue (mental, physical, emotional, etc.) predict pain outcomes differently

"For people with chronic pain conditions, feelings of fatigue may be the norm rather than the exception. In fact, fatigue is one of the most common symptoms reported by patients with chronic pain, and increases as the intensity of the pain increases [1-2]."

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