WRITTEN BY: Tammy C. Perez, M.A., NCC, LCDC, LPC
REVIEWED BY: Dr. Terry Schroeder on April 18, 2023
Chronic Pain Syndromes
What are Chronic Pain Syndromes?
Chronic pain syndromes are a group of conditions characterized by persistent or recurring pain that last for 3-6 months or longer. These conditions can affect any body part and are often associated with other symptoms such as fatigue, mood disturbances, and sleep problems.
Chronic pain syndromes include fibromyalgia, chronic low back pain, complex regional pain syndrome, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, and temporomandibular joint disorder.
Fibromyalgia is widespread pain, tenderness, and stiffness in the muscles, joints, and soft tissues. Chronic low back pain is a persistent ache in the lower back that lasts at least three months. Complex regional pain syndrome, or CRPS, is associated with intense pain, swelling, and skin changes in a limb, typically after an injury or surgery.
Chronic pain syndromes also include migraines, tension pain, and cluster headaches. Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is a condition that causes persistent abdominal pain, bloating, and changes in bowel habits. Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ, is a disorder that causes pain in the jaw joint and surrounding muscles, often accompanied by difficulty chewing or speaking.
Chronic pain syndromes can significantly impact life quality and require a comprehensive approach to treatment that includes medications, physical therapy, and other non-pharmacologic interventions.
What causes Chronic Pain Syndromes?
Chronic pain syndromes can have many causes and often involve complex physiological, psychological, and environmental interactions. Some common causes of chronic pain syndromes include injuries and trauma, inflammatory and neurological conditions, central sensitization, psychological factors, genetic predisposition, and lifestyle components.
Injuries and trauma that have not fully healed, such as a herniated disc, joint or muscle damage, or nerve damage, can cause chronic pain syndromes. Inflammatory and neurological conditions, including arthritis, fibromyalgia, autoimmune disorders, multiple sclerosis, and neuropathy, can also result in the syndrome.
Central sensitization occurs when the nervous system becomes hypersensitive to pain signals, resulting in chronic pain lasting long after an injury or illness has healed. Psychological factors, such as stress, anxiety, and depression, can also influence chronic pain. Genetic predisposition and lifestyle components, including lack of exercise, poor sleep, and unhealthy diet, may lead to chronic pain syndromes.
A combination of factors causes chronic pain syndromes and not a particular component. Treatment for chronic pain often involves addressing the condition's physical and psychological aspects.
What are the symptoms of Chronic Pain Syndromes?
Chronic pain syndromes encompass various symptoms and depend on the specific condition causing the pain. Common symptoms experienced include persistent pain, fatigue, sleep disturbances, depression, anxiety, reduced mobility, muscle stiffness and weakness, cognitive difficulties, changes in appetite, and weight fluctuations.
How are Chronic Pain Syndromes treated?
Chronic pain syndromes are treated through a multidisciplinary approach that includes various medical, psychological, and physical interventions. Common treatments include medications, physical therapy, psychological counseling, behavioral therapy, alternative therapies, and surgery.
Pain medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acetaminophen, opioids, and antidepressants, are frequently used to treat chronic pain syndromes. Physical therapy helps improve mobility and reduce pain through exercises, stretches, and other techniques. Chronic pain can cause depression, anxiety, and other psychological issues. Counseling helps to develop coping mechanisms to improve mental health.
Behavioral therapies, including relaxation techniques and biofeedback, help change behaviors to manage pain better. Acupuncture, massage, and meditation are alternative therapies that can help alleviate symptoms of chronic pain syndromes. Occasionally, surgery may be necessary to correct the underlying cause of chronic pain.
How do Chronic Pain Syndromes affect brain wellness?
Chronic pain syndromes can have a significant impact on brain wellness. Individuals experiencing chronic pain undergo changes in brain structure, function, and chemistry that can contribute to cognitive, emotional, and behavioral symptoms.
Chronic pain can lead to changes in brain structure, including a reduction in gray matter volume in regions involved in pain processing, emotion regulation, and cognitive control. These changes can contribute to cognitive impairments, such as attention, memory, and executive function difficulties.
Chronic pain can also lead to alterations in brain function, including increased activation in pain-processing regions and decreased stimulation in areas that regulate cognitive and emotional control. These changes can result in anxiety, depression, and behavior variations, such as avoiding activities that may exacerbate pain.
Additionally, chronic pain can affect brain chemistry, including alterations in neurotransmitter systems that can contribute to the development and maintenance of chronic pain and the development of comorbid psychiatric conditions.
How can Brain Frequency™ help?
The Brain Frequency™ AI system is an innovative therapeutic approach to improving brain health and wellness. We use proprietary science-based technology to promote optimal brain functioning across mental, emotional, physical, and social domains. Our diagnostic technology and individualized treatment protocols help decrease or eliminate trauma-related symptoms and various mental health disorders.
The Brain Frequency™ 3 Step Treatment Process consists of; first, performing a Baseline EEG and completing Psychometric Assessments; second, conducting a Brain Frequency Consultation; and third, Initiating Treatment.
An Electroencephalogram (EEG) analyzes brain waves and produces a brain map identifying current and optimal frequencies in 19 areas of the brain. Based on the individualized brain map, Brain Frequency™ will determine possible diagnoses of various mental health disorders or brain trauma for the provider to consider during treatment. Brain Frequency™ AI software provides clinicians with an "Approval Ready" treatment plan using personalized protocols based on each patient's needs.
Those suffering from symptoms of chronic pain syndromes can efficiently and effectively improve their brain health and wellness by using the Brain Frequency™ AI system. Our innovative system drastically reduces the time needed to properly diagnose and construct treatment plans leading to a faster recovery and greater quality of life.
Substance Abuse & Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA): https://www.samhsa.gov/
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH): https://www.nimh.nih.gov/
Center For Disease Control & Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/
American Psychological Association (APA): https://www.apa.org/
National Institutes of Health (NIH): https://www.nih.gov/
National Suicide Prevention Line: https://988lifeline.org/
National Library of Medicine: https://medlineplus.gov/
Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/