Chronic Pain Syndrome

A person may suffer from chronic pain as a result of neuropathic pain, or due to a acute pain from an injury that does not fully heal itself. Pain that lasts longer than six months from the time of the injury or the onset of symptoms is called chronic pain. The pain may continue despite the fact that the area seems to have healed, based of follow-up examinations and tests. Yet for some reason the pain remains. There may be several reasons that joint injuries linger long after the injury and initial onset of symptoms. Perhaps the original injury wasn't treated properly and healed poorly as a result. Perhaps your physician did not recognize the severity of the injury, and did not take the appropriate steps towards protecting the vulnerable joint from getting re-injured. Maybe the soft tissues did not fully heal, causing instability of the joint that continued after the swelling subsided. Chronic pain can either be neuropathic or somatic. Neuropathic pain includes the constant firing of the nerves that generate pain signals to the brain, in the absence of an apparent injury to the joints and soft tissues of the body. Somatic pain involves the firing of pain sensitive nerve signals from nerves that respond to injury from surrounding structures. Somatic pain can typically be traced back to a particular joint or other tissue that has been injured.

The primary concern with chronic joint pain and lower back pain is your lack of comfort. But the related symptoms and mechanical changes to the body that occur as a result of chronic joint pain are important to consider. Chronic pain often does cause long term changes in your body that affect the sensitivity of nerves to pain as well as other body structures that are overtaxed to compensate for the injured joints. For example, people who have injured a weight bearing joint on one side of their body are likely to walk while favoring the side of the body that wasn't injured. While this technique may provide temporary relief for the sensitive joints on the injured side of the body, it may also cause muscular imbalances and greater stress on the healthy joints. If a person were to have chronic pain in their right knee, he or she may begin walking while putting more weight on their left leg to take some of the pressure off of their right lower leg. This could cause the muscles on the left leg to become stronger, and the muscles on the left leg to become weaker. This loss of strength in the muscles around the injured knee could cause even more damage to the vulnerable joint, because the loss of muscle strength could cause to joint to become more unstable. If muscle imbalances associated with joint injuries are identified, physical therapy may help to correct the condition.

In some cases of chronic pain, neither the source of the pain nor the cause of the pain are ever found. Chronic pain syndrome describes pain with no known cause. This condition is difficult to treat because treatment for most musculoskeletal disorders is usually preceded by an accurate diagnosis determining the cause of the pain.