The short answer is yes, stress can cause chronic pain. Some studies indicate correlations between high levels of daily stress and an increase in daily pain levels.
The relationship between stress and pain is in fact more complicated than this, however. Stress can lead to pain, but pain can also lead to stress. When a person is in pain, the body will release stress hormones that are meant to help them get out of the painful situations. If you are constantly in pain, however, these hormones will cause damage as time goes on.
What else causes chronic pain?
Chronic pain most often comes from a previous injury. In many cases, an injury that damaged the original nerves. Occasionally nerve damage is present, and treating the underlying injury may not resolve the symptoms of chronic pain.
In some cases, chronic pain can be experienced without prior injury but rather from a health condition such as some of the following:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Interstitial cystitis
- Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ)
Who is at risk for chronic pain?
Though older adults do carry a higher risk, anyone can develop chronic pain. Factors that can increase a person’s risk of developing some form of chronic pain include the following:
How can you treat chronic pain?
The goal of chronic pain treatment is chiefly to reduce pain symptoms enough to allow you to regain your sense of a normal life. Many chronic pain conditions cannot be “cured,” but you can find relief from the symptoms. Chronic pain treatments must be personalized towards each individual and their own condition.
Some will find success with over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen for reducing the symptoms of chronic pain. Some doctors prescribe opioid pain relievers, but the side effects can be harmful when abused.
You may also find relief from your symptoms with general lifestyle changes or home remedies like physical therapy, yoga, therapy, meditation, good sleep hygiene, and exercise. Physical health and mental health are closely linked, so these steps are good for chronic pain and stress.
Ketamine for Chronic Pain Treatment
Though ketamine was first approved by the FDA for use as an anesthetic, it has also found significant use as a pain reliever over the years, with many organizations now recommending it for the treatment of chronic pain conditions.
Research into ketamine infusions for treating pain is a constantly growing field, but it is generally believed that ketamine helps to foster connections between synapses and restore damaged nerve connections, essentially “rewiring” the brain. Ketamine infusions may be particularly effective at not only treating the pain symptoms of Chronic Pain Syndrome, but also the additional depression and anxiety symptoms.
The recent FDA approval of Spravato (a ketamine-based nasal spray for treatment-resistant depression), as well as the development of new psychedelics research centers by John Hopkins, may indicate a shift in the chronic pain treatment industry, providing innovative new options like ketamine infusion to those who experience persistent and treatment-resistant chronic pain.
Contact us today to learn more about our innovative new treatment options.