Experiencing pain is your body's natural way of responding to injury or illness. Usually, your body stops paining after you have healed. However, many people experience pain long after they have healed. Pain that lasts three to six months is generally characterised as chronic pain. Chronic pain can have negative consequences on both your physical and mental health. Sometimes, chronic pain causes further complications and leads to a condition called chronic pain syndrome (CPS). The symptoms of this condition include pain that lasts longer than six months and may be accompanied by depression, anxiety, loss of sexual desire and disability.
The causes of CPS are varied. The condition may be the result of certain types of cancers, chronic fatigue syndrome, endometriosis, and inflammatory bowel disease and strokes. It may also result from painful conditions such as arthritis, back pain, headaches, muscle strains and sprains. Research suggests that the syndrome is linked to abnormalities in the interaction between certain glands and the nervous system, known as a type of stress axis. This stress axis controls the way we react to stress, injury and trauma- this may explain why certain people are more vulnerable to pain. Those who suffer from chronic pain also tend to have low levels of endorphins in their spinal fluid. Since endorphins are chemicals in the body that help control pain, this may be why people with lower endorphin levels are susceptible to chronic pain.
Treatment of CPS usually consists of a multidisciplinary approach including counselling, physical therapy and diagnostic tests to determine the root cause of the problem. If you are experiencing pain for a period of six months or more, and nothing seems to help, we suggest booking an appointment at our clinic. We run in-depth diagnostic tests to determine the cause of your chronic pain and come up with treatment options to better manage your pain.