Chronic pain syndrome is (and isn’t) exactly what it sounds like. Simply put, it’s pain that lasts for longer than 6 months time. Chronic pain is often difficult to manage due to its complexities and the fact that it often doesn’t respond well to conventional treatment. It’s estimated that roughly 35% of the population deals with some type of chronic pain and that over 50 million individuals in this country alone are either partially or completely disabled due to chronic pain syndrome.
Unfortunately, chronic pain has the ability to affect many aspects of an individual’s life and wellbeing. It can cause depression, sleep disturbances, and anxiety, as well as affect relationships, quality of life, and more. Chronic pain is truly a complex and multifaceted issue.
Chronic pain syndrome can be caused by a multitude of conditions, including musculoskeletal disorders (arthritis, back pain, disc herniation, fibromyalgia, fractures, sprains and strains, etc.), neurological disorders, urological disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, reproductive and gynecological disorders, cardiovascular disease, cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation, and even some psychological disorders.
Regardless of the cause, chronic pain syndrome may not only disturb certain areas of one’s life, it can also seem as though it’s completely taking over one’s life. It’s these feelings that tend to contribute to or exacerbate depression, and can put substantial strain on relationships. Many patients who deal with chronic pain express feelings of fear, anger, anxiety, depression, frustration, and more. These feelings can be intensified by certain medications and/or the use of alcohol.
Successful treatment of chronic pain syndrome typically requires a diverse approach that involves both medical treatment and psychological counseling. Chronic pain burdens both the body and mind, so a treatment plan must address both issues in the appropriate ways.
If chronic pain is something that you are dealing with, know that you are not alone! At Nebraska Orthopaedic Center, we have a staff full of caring, compassionate, knowledgeable medical professionals who are well versed in the various treatment options associated with orthopaedic, chronic pain. Consult with your primary care physician for a referral to one of NOC physicians to help with orthopaedic and spine pain.