It’s natural to feel pain when you have an injury or illness. Pain can occur at any part of your body, depending on the type of illness or injury you have. Usually, the pain reduces or goes away once your body recovers from illness or you take pain killers. However, sometimes pain can last months or even years. When pain sustains for 3 to 6 months and more, it’s known as chronic pain.
When you suffer from chronic pain for over six months, it begins to cause deterioration to your mental and physical wellbeing, so much so that it can affect your daily life. Eventually, this chronic pain develops into what is known as Chronic Pain Syndrome (CPC) that causes issues like depression and anxiety in you, and hampers your regular way of life. About 7.4% of US adults suffer from CPC and have limited their daily activities due to this medical condition.
So, what are the causes and treatments for chronic pain syndrome? We will find out in this article.
What Are The Symptoms of Chronic Pain Syndrome?
The symptoms of CPS can include both mental and physical problems. The key symptoms of CPS include
- Lack of sleep
- Exhausted feeling or tired feeling
- Loss of sexual need
- Drug abuse
- Marriage problems
- Suicidal thoughts
- Joint pain
- Muscle aches
- Mood swing
A study showed that 60.8% of patients with chronic pain syndrome suffered from depression. It’s a very common symptom linked to CPS than any other symptom.
What Causes Chronic Pain Syndrome?
The main causes of chronic pain syndrome can be both mental and physical. Experts opine that people who suffer from chronic pain have a faulty nervous system and glands that are responsible for handling stress. That’s why the pain appears to be different to them than usual.
Another opinion is that CPS is an outcome of learning acquired by your body. The more frequently your body reacts to the pain, the more possibility is there that the body will continue to act the same even if the pain is mitigated or gone.
Although CPS can be a problem in both males and females of all ages, it’s typically observed widely in women. People who suffer from mental health issues and depressions are more likely to be suffering from CPS.
Experts have identified some of the most common causes of chronic pain syndrome. These causes, not so surprisingly, have a direct relation to regular long-lasting pain.
- Inflammatory bowel disease: This specific condition triggers inflammation and burning sensation in the tract of your digestive system. As a result, you can suffer from cramping and pain in your intestine.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: It’s an autoimmune problem that results in inflammation in the body joints and causes pain.
- Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is usually observed because of some physical wear and tear, both internal and external. It is generally the result of the reduction of the protective cartilage of our bones.
- Back pain: Back pain can occur from many issues like nerve compression, muscle strains, or disc herniation, and even spinal stenosis.
- Fibromyalgia: It’s a common neurological problem that triggers pain in various parts of your body.
- Endometriosis: This is a condition when the uterus tissues grow outside of it.
Other causes include:
- Lyme disease
- Broken bones
- Acid reflux
How To Diagnose Chronic Pain Syndrome?
To treat CPS, you need to diagnose the problem correctly. There are many ways the doctor will try to diagnose your problems. The process begins with asking some of the most common questions.
- When did you start feeling the pain, and where?
- How exactly does the pain feel like?
- How severe will you mark your pain out of 10?
- What do you think makes you feel relieved or worsen the pain?
- Did you try any treatment before? Did it work?
If your doctor wants to confirm further if your issues are connected to joint damage or other physical wear and tear, they can refer to the following imaging diagnosis process.
- X-Ray: A low radiation image processing of your physical condition.
- Computed Tomography or C.T. Scan: It’s a powerful X-ray system that can scan your whole body for issues.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI: The process includes using radio waves or magnetic waves to form images of your inner body structure.
Treatment For Chronic Pain Syndrome
To treat CPS, you need to go through the identification process as mentioned before. The first step of the treatment is visiting a doctor. You can visit a specialist like a rheumatologist who is an expert in treating arthritis.
The doctor will try to narrow down the treatment process to the root cause of your problem. However, the general treatments include
- Physio-therapy: This is done to the affected body part with heat, stretching, or massaging. Apart from that, the therapy can also include TENS.
- Relaxation Techniques: This includes meditation and deep breathing exercises.
- Consumption of Pain Killers: The doctor can prescribe certain antidepressants, NSAIDs, or muscle relaxants to ease the pain.
- Counseling: This involves mental counseling with the doctor to reduce depression.
Other treatment processes may include
- Nerve Blocks
- Occupational therapy
In extreme cases, the doctor may even need to go for surgery to treat the root cause of your pain.
When To See A Doctor?
If you recently had an injury, the pain from that injury is normal. You can wait and work on home-based physical therapy to reduce the pain. However, if the pain lasts for over a month, you should definitely go see a doctor without delay.
Chronic Pain Syndrome has a long-lasting effect on our body, mind, and our daily life, as well. If you are suffering from internal or external pain for more than a couple of months on a constant basis, it’s time you went to a doctor to determine if it’s developed to CPS. The faster you start the treatment, the faster you may be cured.
Have a healthy life!