Chronic pain syndrome — an overview

Chronic pain syndrome occurs when a patient experiences severe pain for more than three months. This pain can occur intermittently or remain constant, depending on the cause. For many patients with chronic pain syndrome, the pain has become both a physical and mental burden. The inability to perform daily activities that you once enjoyed can lead to psychological conditions such as depression, excess stress, irritability and anxiety.

If you are dealing with this condition, it is important to work closely with your primary care doctor or a specialist to find treatment for lasting relief. One important part of treatment is educating yourself about the causes of this condition. The following information can help you make a more informed decision about your care, giving you a better chance of getting back to the quality of life you deserve.

Causes of chronic pain syndrome

Chronic pain is commonly experienced in the neck or back as a result of a degenerative spine condition caused by the natural aging process.

A degenerative spine condition can cause the spine to move out of alignment and press against a spinal nerve. This nerve compression is what causes chronic pain syndrome. As the nerve is pinched, pain signals are sent from the nerve root in the spine to the brain and sometimes along the entirety of the nerve pathway. For example, a pinched nerve in the neck may cause pain to radiate from the neck, through the shoulder and into the arm and hand.

Common degenerative spine conditions that cause chronic pain syndrome include:

  • Herniated or bulging disc
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Bone spurs
  • Arthritis of the spine
  • Spinal stenosis

Your physician or spine specialist can diagnose the cause of your pain by performing a physical exam and ordering medical images like an MRI or CT scan. Once the cause of the pain is diagnosed, you can work together to find the best treatment solution.

Treatments for chronic pain syndrome

For many patients with chronic pain syndrome, conservative treatments like pain medication and physical therapy have not effectively relieved your pain. If you have exhausted conservative treatment options and are still suffering, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn more about the benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery.

Our procedures offer patients a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck or back surgery.^ We perform minimally invasive decompression and minimally invasive stabilization procedures that are performed with muscle-sparing techniques, allowing our patients to experience a lower risk of complication compared to traditional procedures.

To find out if you may be a candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures, contact Laser Spine Institute today and request a no-cost review of your MRI report or CT scan.*