Monday, December 5, 2022

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Chronic pain can come from a number of different issues, concerns, and triggers. Each patient is different and the reason they are experiencing pain can by completely unique. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can cause chronic pain in addition to all of the other related concerns. Republic Pain Specialists can help provide some relief from the pain you are experiencing.

What is it?

PTSD is a mental health issue that many people face after experiencing or being a part of major events where their or others’ lives are in danger. Some of these events could be military combat, an accident, natural disaster, or assault. According to the VA, individuals “may not have any control over what’s happening, and [they] may feel very afraid.” This fear continues after the event, making regular activities and day-to-day life very difficult if not impossible. While a short amount of time of having fear, concerns, and worries is normal, feeling this way for multiple months means you may need help to deal with the impact of PTSD.

Causes

While the actual causes of PTSD can vary greatly, there are multiple symptoms that come with PTSD. Chronic pain is highly associated with PTSD for many patients. For starters, because many people with PTSD have experienced a situation where their lives are in danger, there is a highly likelihood of physical pain that was never properly dealt with after the event. This may be back pain (which is very likely for those with PTSD) from a motor vehicle accident, pain from some sort of assault, or long term issues from surviving a natural disaster. In fact, the link between chronic pain and PTSD is so high that anywhere from 15-35% of people with chronic pain can also be diagnosed with PTSD.

There is also a psychological component as patients can often feel a large amount of helplessness and frustration in their lives. This can lead to mental tension and physical tension as well. A cycle then forms of frustration creating more symptoms, causing more frustration, and so on. Only by breaking this cycle with effective treatment can healing take place.

Treatment

Treatment for chronic pain with PTSD can be challenging, but like so many of Republic’s other treatment plans, it is best when tackled in multiple ways. For starters, treating any residual pain from the actual event would be warranted. From there, tackling additional chronic pain issues with nerve blocks, like the stellate ganglion block we perform in office, can reduce tension, swelling, and the pain felt by patients. Other nerve blocks may be performed, especially in the event of lower back pain like so many patients with PTSD experience. Some patients may be served well by speaking to a nutritionist or beginning an exercise routine to work on other aspects of their overall health. To deal with the mental and emotional components of PTSD some counseling and therapy should certainly be considered and would help with the overall wellness of the patient and their family.

If you are experiencing chronic pain due to PTSD or to some other issue, come see us at Republic Pain Specialists. No pain or patient is the same and no treatment plan is the same either. We will work with you to find options that will provide relief right away and be sustainable so you can resume your day-to-day lives.

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