Chronic generalized pain can debilitating and impact every area of your life. Disorders such as Fibromyalgia and Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome are two chronic disorders that can disrupt sleep cycles, make it impossible to perform daily tasks, and put unnecessary stress on professional and personal relationships. The current understanding of these types of disorders is that the brain and the spinal cord are responsible for causing so much of the pain patients experience.
Carolinas Pain Center brings to bear multidisciplinary techniques and approaches to patients suffering from these painful disorders. Make an appointment today to begin the journey toward pain management.
Common Causes of Generalized Pain Disorders
Fibromyalgia is a long-term chronic condition involving pain in many areas of the body, including muscles, joints, and soft tissue, but also involves generalized fatigue which can lead to headaches, anxiety, sexual dysfunction, and depression. It is not uncommon for patients with Fibromyalgia to exhibit signs of other associated syndromes such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder.
Myofacial Pain Syndrome
Myofascial Pain Syndrome (or chronic myofascial pain) refers to localized and referred pain at and from trigger points. These points are most often found in the neck, head, extremities and lower back, but can be found anywhere a muscle or fascia is located. Trauma from injuries like whiplash as well as post-surgical trauma can lead to this syndrome if the muscle dysfunction is not treated and becomes chronic.
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Injuries and surgery can both be unusually traumatic to the body. While many people experience these traumas and recover completely with little pain, patients with RSD experience excruciating pain that is beyond anticipation or control. These patients report painful sensitivity to even the slightest touch or to cold. Bouts of unbearable burning pain can occur spontaneously; swelling and decreased range of motion affect the extremity. It can even be the cause for differences in temperature between the affected limb and the rest of the body.
This unpredictable and painful syndrome is most likely the result of the brain and spinal cord misinterpreting normal sensations the body experiences. Because there is no cure for RSD, the focus of treatment is relieving pain and learning to manage it.