Chronic Pain Syndrome – Definition, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is Chronic Pain Syndrome?

Pain is defined as a sensory which is unpleasant and which yields an experience of the emotional state which can be associated to the potential or actual tissue or organ damage that the person’s body undergoes. The Chronic Pain Syndrome, meanwhile, is an expected symptom that doesn’t have a good feedback to medical treatment and this kind of syndrome imposes a great challenge to the persons who are inclined to the health care system. It imposes a challenge to the persons inclined in the health care system because the cause is unclear and the patient who has this syndrome yields a poor response to the therapy done. Researchers says that for a person to experience such syndrome, the pain should last for 6 months and others used 3 months as the minimum diagnostic standards while others use the basis of the normal recuperation period for a disease condition. In a general form, it is a persisting pain that last longer compared to acute pain that are only last for less than a month.

Symptoms and Characteristics

When a person is undergoing Chronic Pain Syndrome, he or she will manifest the some or most of the following signs, symptoms and characteristics such as:

  • Discomfort
  • Pain which can be described as burning, shooting, electrical, or aching
  • Pain that doesn’t go away directly as it is expected after injury or illness
  • Soreness
  • Tightness
  • Fatigue
  • Immune system which is weak
  • Mood changes such as irritable, hopelessness, fear and stress
  • Disability
  • Stiffness
  • Disturbed sleeping pattern
  • Withdrawn from normal day to day activity
  • Depression
  • Somatisation

Causes and Risk Factors

The exact cause of why Chronic Pain Syndrome happens is still unclear, up to this point. As mentioned, chronic pain the pain persists for weeks to months to years even after the recuperation period. It can develop after one sustain an illness or an injury or perhaps develop idiopathic or having an unknown cause. There is also a possibility that brain chemicals, which normally suppresses the pain, doesn’t properly work. Some of the most common causes that attribute to experiencing this kind of syndromes are the following common cases:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Shingles
  • Nerve damage
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Lower back pain
  • Arthritis
  • Headache

The factors that increase your risk into experiencing the Chronic Pain syndrome may be attributed to:

  • Smoking
  • Aging
  • Existing health problems such as the cases mentioned above
  • Health problems encountered in the past which have recurred
  • The general overall health condition
  • Health conditions which are hard to treat
  • Lifestyle
  • Stress
  • History of sexual, physical or emotional abuse
  • Relationship problems


In evaluating and diagnosing if the person is experiencing the Chronic Pain syndrome, the physician will require test or examination prior to diagnosing the patient himself or herself. Such of the examinations that the physician conducts are as follows:

  • Medical History Examination which should be detailed
  • Physical Examination using the IPPA or Inspection, Percussion, Palpation, Auscultation
  • Neurological Examination
  • Mental Health Examination or Assessment Examination
  • Blood Examination
  • X-Ray Examinations
  • Electromyography Examination
  • Angiogram
  • Nerve Block Diagnostic Examination

Treatment of Chronic Pain Syndrome

There are various ways or method to treat Chronic Pain Syndrome. Prior to treatment the physician or the health care team will usually assess the patient by using the pain scale method to determine the scale and intensity of the pain experienced by the patient himself or herself. They will use this rate to determine the effectivity of the treatment that the patient has undergone. Such treatment therapies that patients can undergo to treat this kind of syndrome are as follows:

Natural Treatment

Cognitive Behavior Treatment – There is a need to step back and evaluate one’s feelings and to recognize this feeling and initiate a change in behavior or attitude.

Eat healthy and balanced diet – It includes diet that is high in essential nutrients and vitamins

Follow Regular Exercise regimen – It is best way in pain reduction. It is through exercise that one produces endorphins which are known to be hormones that elevates the persons mood and which are also known to be useful in pain reduction.

Getting an ample enough of sleep – This is good way to manage the pain that one is experiencing in chronic pain syndrome

Pharmacological Pain Medications

  • Analgesics such as NSAIDs
  • Opioid

Both are commonly prescribed various pain medications to alleviate the pain that the person experiences during the Chronic Pain syndrome episodes

Holistic Treatment

  • Occupational and Physical Therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Massage
  • Chiropractic Therapy
  • Herbal Medicines
  • Hypnosis
  • Visualization Therapies
  • Meditation
  • TENS
  • Heat and Cold Therapies
  • Humor
  • Jaw Relaxation
  • Slow Rhythmic Breathing Therapy


When it comes to the prognosis of persons with Chronic Pain Syndrome, the prognosis varies from one person to another but it is most often poor and leads to failure to thrive and death. Yet, there are is a possibility for a considerate improvement that is suitable for management and support.


The complications which are associated with the Chronic Pain Syndrome are as follows:

  • Disturbance of the sleep pattern
  • Employment is loss
  • Disability
  • The physical suffering is prolonged (compared to acute pain)
  • Marital problems
  • Family problems
  • Financial problems
  • Side effects of medications due to long term treatment therapy


The fact is that you can never prevent chronic pain. However if you are adapting a healthy lifestyle which possess good mental and physical health, you can be able to at least prevent chronic pain syndrome or be able to cope with the constant and persisting pain. Other ways that can be of help in the prevention of this syndrome consist of:

  • Adequate sleep
  • Exercise
  • Balanced and healthy diet
  • Stress reduction
  • Early treatment
  • Activity and Rest periods

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