Chronic Pain Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Chronic Impacts Both Your Body and Mind

The hard truth is that it is virtually impossible to go through life without experiencing pain. Pain is your body’s natural response whenever something has gone wrong, such as an injury or illness. It acts as a warning, prompting you to take action. Many instances of pain heal on their own or with minor treatment. Once an injury or illness has been treated and dealt with, pain often goes away shortly. However, there are times when that pain does not go away when an injury or illness heals. Sometimes a person’s acute pain turns into chronic pain.

Chronic pain continues long after an injury or illness has healed. People lose control of their lives to this pain. It impacts their quality of life, causing them to struggle to complete everyday tasks. As time passes, this pain will only get worse. Roughly a fourth of those suffering from chronic pain will go on to have a condition known as chronic pain syndrome. Those living with this condition will experience increased levels of pain, plus other mental health symptoms, that will drastically reduce their quality of life.

At Texas Partners Healthcare Group, we understand how debilitating pain of any kind can be. Chronic pain syndrome goes far beyond acute pain and traditional chronic pain. If you or a loved one has been suffering from chronic pain or any other type of pain, contact Texas Partners Healthcare Group to learn what your options are.

What is Chronic Pain Syndrome?

Pain occurs after an individual suffers an injury or an illness. Acute pain lasts for only a short period, roughly less than three months. It’s often related to injuries involving soft-tissue damage, such as a sprained ankle. As the injury improves, it goes away. However, whenever the pain persists even after an injury has seemingly healed, your acute pain may have developed into chronic pain.

Chronic pain is pain that lasts for 12 weeks or more, and it affects roughly 50 million American adults. This pain can occur even when there is no trigger for your pain. This pain is more often than not debilitating, keeping you from enjoying the simple pleasures life has to offer. As time passes and your pain persists, chronic pain may develop into chronic pain syndrome.

This pain condition occurs when your physical pain and discomfort is no longer the only affliction your pain causes. Those suffering from this condition also struggle with anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. They may experience loss of sexual desire, as well as becoming disabled.

This condition is not only an attack on your physical health, but it is also a threat to your mental health. However, while treating chronic pain syndrome may be hard, it is far from impossible.

Symptoms

It’s crucial that you know what to look for when identifying chronic pain syndrome. Symptoms take a toll on individuals, both physically and mentally. This pain is almost constant. There may be occasional flare-ups due to increased stress or activity. Pain levels and symptoms may vary from case to case, but these are some of the most common symptoms of chronic pain syndrome:

  • Joint pain
  • Muscles pain
  • Burning sensation
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Loss of stamina
  • Loss of flexibility
  • Irritability
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Feelings of resentment or guilt
  • Suicidal thoughts and tendencies

According to research, depression in patients with chronic pain sits at almost 61%, with many experiencing severe symptoms.

As you can see, those with chronic pain syndrome experience both physical and mental symptoms. It’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible.

Causes

As we mentioned early, chronic pain syndrome occurs in individuals who already suffer from chronic pain. Their pain eventually develops into this condition. Many of the conditions and injuries that develop into this condition include:

Chronic pain syndrome is rooted both mentally and physically. While psychological factors may play a part in this condition, they are not alone. Some experts believe that there are defects in the interactions between certain glands, such as the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal glands, and the nervous system. This connection between the nervous system and these glands is known as the stress axis. It controls the body’s reactions to stress, injury, and trauma.

Additionally, research has also found that those who suffer from chronic pain also have low levels of endorphins, the chemical that helps control pain. Endorphins also trigger positive sensations across the body, bordering on euphoria.

Treatment

Because chronic pain syndrome impacts your body, both physically and mentally, it can be hard to treat. However, it is not impossible. The chronic pain doctors at Texas Partners Healthcare Group have developed numerous treatment options for patients suffering from chronic pain. Some chronic pain treatment to help with this condition includes:

  • Physical therapy
  • Nerve blocks
  • Occupational therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Biofeedback
  • Mindfulness, such as meditation and yoga
  • Chronic pain management
  • Pain medications, such as anti-inflammatories, steroids, muscle relaxers, and antidepressants with pain management benefits
  • Surgery to treat underlying conditions if need be

Often, chronic pain doctors will utilize combinations of various chronic pain treatments to ensure that your pain, both mental and physical, is appropriately and effectively treated.

Texas Partners Healthcare Group prides itself on being one of the top chronic pain management clinics in all of Dallas. Our team is full of talented and experienced pain management doctors, who will thoroughly and accurately review your condition to reach an accurate diagnosis. Through collaboration, our team will work together to create a unique treatment plan for you. We understand how complex chronic pain syndrome is, which is why we dedicate ourselves to ensuring that both your physical and mental health receive the treatment they desperately need. If you or a loved one is suffering from chronic pain, contact Texas Partners Healthcare Group to learn what your options are.