Pain disorder

Pain-disorder_nerves

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

What is pain disorder?

Any pain that persists for a prolonged period of time which can last for weeks or months is considered chronic pain.  Due to chronic pain, it leads to disability and causes psychological problems such as depression and stress and is considered pain disorder.

Unlike acute pain which may spontaneously occur and subside when the underlying cause is treated, chronic pain is usually persistent and may even worsen over a period of time.  Studies have also revealed that since chronic pain is associated with psychological problems, it becomes much more difficult to manage these symptoms.

Chronic pain would require you to visit the doctor who would generally prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to manage the symptoms.  In extreme cases when the pain becomes unbearable, surgery may be contemplated to treat the underlying condition.  Another type of pain that falls under pain disorder is regional pain.  This type of pain occurs after an injury affecting the nervous system.

Various types of chronic pain

Chronic pain can be divided into three types depending on how it is caused.  These include:

Central pain

Any pain associated with the spinal cord or the brain is considered as central pain.  This pain may be related to necrosis, cancerous tumor, or even internal bleeding.  Pain here is generally persistent and may vary from moderate to severe.

Phantom pain

This pain is a result of amputation surgery.  It has been estimated that the majority of people undergoing amputation due to various reasons usually experience pain at the amputation site.

Neuropathic pain

This type of pain is associated with the nerves connecting the spinal cord and the brain.  Here, you may experience some neurological symptoms such as numbness and tingling associated with pain.

What causes pain disorder?

It should not come as a surprise that some of the most common health conditions cause pain disorders.  Persistent pain such as joint pain, muscle pain, migraines, back pain, and pain related to the gastrointestinal region are considered to be chronic pain.  Let’s discuss the health conditions associated with chronic pain.

Fibromyalgia

People suffering from fibromyalgia experience pain in various parts of the body called trigger points.  According to the guidelines of rheumatology, there are 18 trigger points in total which is a combination of nine pairs.  A diagnosis of fibromyalgia is determined when a person experiences pain at least at 11 trigger points.

Arthritis

Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are some of the types of arthritis that can cause pain in the musculoskeletal system.  Degeneration of bones due to various factors causes osteoarthritis.  Here, the structure and density of the bone deplete leading to broken bones and pain in the joints.  On the other hand, autoimmune diseases can cause rheumatoid arthritis where you would experience pain as well as inflammation in the joints.

Spinal stenosis

The spine plays an important role in maintaining the posture of the upper body.  The spine has numerous nerve fibers that are interconnected.  Due to an underlying injury, the space within the spine reduces.  This causes damage to the nerve fibers.  This kind of pain is broadly called the back pain, which may also be caused due to strain of the back muscles.

Bowel disease

Here, the pain is associated with the digestive tract including the stomach and the intestines.  Various factors can cause this pain such as ulcers and polyps.  These health conditions cause inflammation to the intestine and leads to pain.

Surgical pain

In certain conditions, people may experience pain at the surgical site.  This type of pain is generally experienced when a person undergoes amputation.

Pain related to cancer

Tumor growth can lead to pain when the surrounding tissues and organs are affected.  Some of the examples of pain related to cancer include pelvic cancer, breast cancer, etc.

What are the symptoms of pain disorder?

As discussed earlier, pain disorder not only involves pain but is also associated with a psychological component.  Due to the disability caused by chronic pain, the person may become physically stressed and can also experience psychological problems.  Some of the symptoms associated with pain disorder include:

  • A constant and persistent pain that may vary from moderate to severe.
  • Inability to lead a normal life such as performing activities of daily living.
  • Reduced level of ambulation.
  • Feeling tired and lethargic for the most part of the day.
  • Psychological problems such as stress and anxiety.
  • Failure to thrive.
  • Reduced sexual interest.
  • May become addicted to opiates and alcohol.
  • Suicidal thoughts from stress and depression.

Risk factors associated with pain disorder

Pain disorder may affect anybody and can occur at any time.  There are certain risk factors that can put you at a higher risk of acquiring this condition such as:

  • Sex – Studies have indicated that women have a higher risk of acquiring this condition as compared to men.
  • Age – Another risk factor is associated with being older. People who are 65 years and above may acquire this condition due to the natural loss of bone mineral density.
  • Obesity – People who are obese may acquire this condition due to their abnormal lifestyle which includes unhealthy diet.
  • Psychological factors – There is also a possibility that depression and stress can play an important role in determining the severity of fibromyalgia.  In the majority of cases, it has been found that a stressful situation can even lead to the onset of fibromyalgia pain.

How is pain disorder diagnosed?

Diagnosis of pain disorder mainly depends how and where the pain is affecting a person.  The doctor would be interested in knowing the type of pain, area of pain, triggers, any associated symptoms accompanying pain, as well as the severity of the pain.  Once these descriptions are known, the cause of the pain can be determined by performing various medical tests and imaging.

Finally, the pain level can be determined with the help of various pain measuring methods such as numeric pain rating scales where the doctor would ask you to rate the pain on a scale of 0-10 where 0 is the lowest and 10 is the highest.  Other pain testing methods include faces scale, verbal descriptor, McGill pain screening, and brief pain screening.

Treatment for pain disorder

Treatment associated with pain disorder mainly concentrates on reducing the pain levels to a tolerable state.  The pain levels are usually brought down with the help of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.  Since these drugs cause some serious side effects, it is advised to limit the use of these drugs to avoid further complications.  The following treatment methods are used to treat chronic pain and these include:

  • Drugs – Various types of pain-relieving and antipsychotic drugs can be used which include NSAIDs, steroids, opioids, bisphosphonates, as well as antidepressant drugs.
  • One of the modern-day treatments includes injections in the form of nerve blocks. These injections are directly given to the area of concern such as knee joint to provide pain relief.
  • Strengthening and stretching exercises with the help of physical therapy.
  • Finally, surgery can be contemplated if all the above remedies do not work.

Alternative treatments for pain disorder

Exercise regimen

Various stretching and strengthening exercises can be tried to alleviate the symptoms of pain disorder.  Studies have indicated that exercises are one of the best ways to improve blood flow.  It was also determined that when there is adequate blood flow in the affected area, it helps in removing the adhesions and rebuilding the tissues.  You can also try various traditional therapies such as acupuncture and yoga.  Both these forms of therapy are best suited for chronic pain since it helps with flexion, strengthening, as well as relieve the stress.

Psychological therapy

As discussed earlier, pain disorder involves pain as well as psychological problems.  The combination of these two is quite dangerous since the psychological condition may play pranks on the mind where you would become more inclined towards addiction.  This may include getting addicted to pain medications where you would crave for more pain medications even when the needs are limited.  Undergoing psychological therapy can help immensely in negating these thoughts and help lead a better life.

Cannabidiol oil

CBD oil is extracted from cannabis sativa.  This type of cannabis is safe as it does not contain the psychoactive effects.  CBD oil is available in various forms such as capsules, tinctures, and topical salve.  Studies have revealed that CBD oil can be highly effective against arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory effects.  Apart from the anti-inflammatory effects, CBD oil also can promote sleep.  This is quite helpful since adequate sleep is one of the best ways to relieve stress.

Essential oil supplements

Essential oils have various health benefits.  They are well known for their anti-inflammatory effects due to the presence of powerful antioxidants.  For example, curcumin present in turmeric works as an anti-inflammatory and helps with arthritis.  Similarly, lavender oil and peppermint oil can provide that soothing effect on the mind to help relieve stress and promote sleep.  All these properties of essential oils make them a suitable alternative for pain relief.

Bottom line

Pain disorder may be caused due to multiple factors but the treatment is usually simple.  One of the biggest complications of pain disorder is the psychological effect it has on a person.  Managing this may be a bit complicated but a sincere effort can really make wonders.  It is important to achieve one goal at a time.  You need to take out the positives from the life and manage to engage theself in one or the other activities.  Sometimes even speaking to others can be helpful in finding new ways to cope with the pain and stress at the same time.

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Get tested by the doctor regularly.
  • Limit pain medications.
  • Consider supplements.
  • Keep yourself engaged.
Don'ts
  • Self medication for pain.
  • Abuse drugs.
  • Depend mainly on pain medications.
  • Follow a sedentary lifestyle.

 

 

 

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How seitan proved to be a blessing in disguise for vegans worldwide Can only meat-eaters enjoy delicious juicy steaks and burgers? With seitan, the best meat substitute available today,even vegans…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of cold beer add…
Threatened abortion
A few facts about threatened abortion A threatened miscarriage indicates an early pregnancy loss. Look out for symptoms like bleeding, vaginal discharge, and pain.
labiaplasty
Labiaplasty Labiaplasty is a surgical procedure to modify the labia minora and the labia majora. Learn about who can…
Hemp Seeds: The actual science behind this controversial crop Inspite of being credited as a superfood, hemp seeds are still shrouded with layers of controversies. Are these…
Surgery or home-remedy; what is the right way to treat a burn The treatment of a burn injury depends on its severity. You can save a life by offering the…
Bubble Tea: Bubbling with nutrition or a hidden sugar mine? The tapioca pearls present in the tea looks like bubbles and hence the name bubble tea became popular.…
Rubella IgM test
Rubella IgM Test The Rubella IgM test is a blood test that is performed to diagnose the presence of the rubella…
cystoscopy
Cystoscopy Cystoscopy is a procedure to check the health of the urethra and the bladder. The procedure is also…
CBC blood test
CBC (Hemogram 6-part diff) blood test CBC (Hemogram 6-part diff) blood test refers to the test that measures the number of RBCs, WBCs, etc…
Aphasia brain scans
Neuroendoscopy Neuroendoscopy is a minimally-invasive surgery used to treat disorders of brain, spine, head, etc.
GGt test
GGT – Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test GGT or gammaglutamyl transferase test is a liver function test that is used to detect the extent of…
Thyroid disorders
Thyroid Profile Thyroid profile is a panel of blood tests performed to check if an individual is suffering from any…
cystatin C
Cystatin C Test Cystatin C is a specific single-chain protein that is found in body fluids and is a biomarker for…
Gynecomastia or male breast enlargement
Gynecomastia Gynecomastia is the enlargement of the male breasts. Learn about the treatment options, surgeries, and post-op care for…
Ear pain model
Easy and safe tips for ear wax removal you can do at home Cerumen impaction generally occurs when an external object like cotton swabs are used to remove the ear wax.…
Nootropics: How safe are these drugs that make you smarter? Nootropics is a group of cognition-enhancing substances that facilitate better learning, memory, and other executive functions pertaining to…
Low carb diet
8 appetizing and mouth-watering recipes that every low-carb dieter should try Looking for delicious recipes that will fix your hunger pang without adding those pesky carbs? Look no further…
Cellphones and Human Brain
Cellphones and Human Brain – Are Cellphones a Slow Poison to Our Brains? Cellphones have become an intricate part of our lives but they can be highly addictive and overuse can…
Dragon Fruit – Blessing from Nature’s Basket Dragon fruit is packed with nutrients but low on calories. It is the dream food that can help…
Hepatitis A virus infected liver
Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) Total Blood test to look for IgM antibodies to know if you are infected with Hepatitis A virus (HAV),…
Rheumatoid Arthritis xray
Arthritis Profile Arthritis profile is a panel of primarily blood tests used to detect the presence of arthritis or check…
Splenda
Splenda Splenda is an artificial sweetener derived from Stevia plant extracts. It is low in calories and a popular…
cytomegalovirus igm test
Cytomegalo Virus (CMV) – IgM Test The CMV antibodies include both IgM and IgG antibodies which are the immune system's response to a CMV…
Urologist: When should you visit one and why? A urologist can treat not only genitourinary problems of both men and women but also can treat various…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how successful have they…
6 arguments in favour of glucosamine and where can you find it Studies have shown that glucosamine works by preventing the breakdown of cartilage of the joints. This is usually…
black seed oil benefits
Black Seed Oil: What secret benefits could it bestow on your health? Black seeds or nigella seeds are tiny packets of health brimming with amazing benefits. Find out why should…
anoscopy
Anoscopy Anoscopy is an invasive diagnostic procedure where a small device known as anoscope will be inserted in the…
Is bronchitis contagious? And how to prevent this infection? It is acute bronchitis that is contagious which means you can contract it from another person or you…
gallbladder diet tomato
Gallbladder surgery :Tips on post-operative care and diet What to eat post a gallbladder surgery? What are the key things to avoid if you had a…
Jack in the box fast food
Jack In the Box : The perils of surging fast food culture in the USA Jack in the Box - How a culture of fast-food can clog your arteries, weaken your heart, fatten…
Proteinuria and blood pressure
Hypertension Profile Hypertension profile is a panel of blood tests done to analyse the cause of hypertension or high blood…
Tart Cherry: The healthiest excuse for taking that second serving of pie Tart cherry has been traditionally used in delectable desserts such as pies. Recent studies have revealed that its…
antiHEV IgM test
Anti hepatitis E virus (Anti HEV) IgM Test Anti HEV IgM test determines the level of the IgM antibodies in the blood, The disease is often…
Vitamin b12
Vitamin B12 Test Vitamin b12 is an essential nutrient required for healthy functioning of the nervous system and also development of…
These are the top foods to increase your hemoglobin count It is important to add iron-rich foods into your diet in order to increase hemoglobin. Deficiency of hemoglobin could…
Balneotherapy jacuzzi
5 things you didn’t know about balneotherapy and how you can do it at home Sauna baths have been popular since a long time. But how much more beneficial can balneotherapy be as…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in your body? Your…
social media adddiction
Your health in the age of Social Media: Why is digital detox a necessity? Did you know that more than 400 million people are dangerously addicted to social media? Are you one…
Salt dangers
Sodium chloride: The wonders and dangers of the simple table salt Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium and chlorine ions at a 1:1 ratio. It is edible and…
ureteroscopy
Ureteroscopy Ureteroscopy is the diagnostic procedure which is used for the detection of the kidney stones in addition to…
folate test
Folate test The Folate test measures and monitors the levels of folic acid in the blood. This test is also…

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