NINDS Chronic Pain Information Page!


NINDS Chronic Pain Information Page!

What is Chronic Pain? While acute pain is a normal sensation triggered in the nervous system to alert you to possible injury and the need to take care of yourself, chronic pain is different. Chronic pain persists. Pain signals keep firing in the nervous system for weeks, months, even years. There may have been an initial mishap — sprained back, serious infection, or there may be an ongoing cause of pain — arthritis, cancer, ear infection, but some people suffer chronic pain in the absence of any past injury or evidence of body damage. Many chronic pain conditions affect older adults. Common chronic pain complaints include headache, low back pain, cancer pain, arthritis pain, neurogenic pain (pain resulting from damage to the peripheral nerves or to the central nervous system itself), psychogenic pain (pain not due to past disease or injury or any visible sign of damage inside or outside the nervous system).

Is there any treatment?

Medications, acupuncture, local electrical stimulation, and brain stimulation, as well as surgery, are some treatments for chronic pain. Some physicians use placebos, which in some cases has resulted in a lessening or elimination of pain. Psychotherapy, relaxation and medication therapies, biofeedback, and behavior modification may also be employed to treat chronic pain.

What is the prognosis?

Many people with chronic pain can be helped if they understand all the causes of pain and the many and varied steps that can be taken to undo what chronic pain has done. Scientists believe that advances in neuroscience will lead to more and better treatments for chronic pain in the years to come.

What research is being done?

Clinical investigators have tested chronic pain patients and found that they often have lower-than-normal levels of endorphins in their spinal fluid. Investigations of acupuncture include wiring the needles to stimulate nerve endings electrically (electroacupuncture), which some researchers believe activates endorphin systems. Other experiments with acupuncture have shown that there are higher levels of endorphins in cerebrospinal fluid following acupuncture. Investigators are studying the effect of stress on the experience of chronic pain. Chemists are synthesizing new analgesics and discovering painkilling virtues in drugs not normally prescribed for pain.

NIH Patient Recruitment for Chronic Pain Clinical Trials At NIH Clinical Center Throughout the U.S. and Worldwide Organizations

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) National Institutes of Health, DHHS 31 Center Drive, Room 5B-55 Bethesda, MD 20892 nidcrinfo@mail.nih.gov http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/ Tel: 301-496-4261 301-496-4261

American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA) P.O. Box 850 Rocklin, CA 95677-0850 ACPA@pacbell.net http://www.theacpa.org/ Tel: 916-632-0922 800-533-3231 Fax: 916-652-8190

American Headache Society Committee for Headache Education (ACHE) 19 Mantua Road Mt. Royal, NJ 08061 achehq@talley.com http://www.achenet.org/ Tel: 856-423-0043 856-423-0043 Fax: 856-423-0082

National Headache Foundation 820 N. Orleans Suite 217 Chicago, IL 60610-3132 info@headaches.org http://www.headaches.org/ Tel: 312-274-2650 312-274-2650 888-NHF-5552 888-NHF-5552 (643-5552) Fax: 312-640-9049

National Foundation for the Treatment of Pain P.O. Box 70045 Houston, TX 77270 NFTPain@cwo.com http://www.paincare.org/ Tel: 713-862-9332 713-862-9332 Fax: 713-862-9346

Mayday Fund [For Pain Research] c/o SPG 136 West 21st Street, 6th Floor New York, NY 10011 mayday@maydayfund.org http://www.painandhealth.org/ Tel: 212-366-6970 212-366-6970 Fax: 212-366-6979

American Pain Foundation 201 North Charles Street Suite 710 Baltimore, MD 21201-4111 info@painfoundation.org http://www.painfoundation.org/ Tel: 888-615-PAIN 888-615-PAIN (7246) Fax: 410-385-1832

Arthritis Foundation P.O. Box 7669 Atlanta, GA 30357 help@arthritis.org http://www.arthritis.org/ Tel: 800-283-7800 404-872-7100 404-965-7888 Fax: 404-872-0457

 

Related NINDS Publications and Information

Pain: Hope Through Research Chronic pain information page compiled by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Low Back Pain Fact Sheet Back Pain information sheet compiled by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). NINDS Peripheral Neuropathy Information Page Peripheral Neuropathy information sheet compiled by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). NINDS Trigeminal Neuralgia Information Page Trigeminal Neuralgia (tic doloreaux) information compiled by NINDS, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. NINDS Central Pain Syndrome Information Page Central Pain Syndrome information sheet compiled by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). NINDS Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Information Page Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (also called Causalgia and Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome) information page compiled by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Fact Sheet

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (also called Causalgia and Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome) information page compiled by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). NINDS Shingles Information Page Shingles information page compiled by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Shingles: Hope Through Research

An informational booklet on shingles compiled by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Amid Ongoing Controversy, Researchers Find Opiates Relieve Chronic Pain From Nervous System Damage May 2003 news summary on recent findings that opioid drugs can be effective in treating chronic pain. Study Links Chronic Pain to Signals in the Brain January 2003 news summary on proteins that play a role in chronic pain. Neurobiology of Craniofacial/Deep Tissue Persistent Pain Summary of symposium on Neurobiology of Craniofacial/Deep Tissue Persistent Pain held March 13-14, 2002. Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/ Complex Regional Pain Syndromes (CRPS): State-of-the-Science A workshop on Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/ Complex Regional Pain Syndromes (CRPS): State-of-the-Science, December 15, 2001. Publicaciones en Español

Dolor: Esperanza en la Investigación

 

Prepared by: Office of Communications and Public Liaison National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke National Institutes of Health Bethesda, MD 20892

 

NINDS health-related material is provided for information purposes only and does not necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke or any other Federal agency. Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient’s medical history.

All NINDS-prepared information is in the public domain and may be freely copied. Credit to the NINDS or the NIH is appreciated.

Last updated December 21, 2009

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/chronic_pain/chronic_pain.htm

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s