Automobile accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. A stroke may last a few seconds or a few hours. But the pain as a result can last forever. Whether moderate or severe, immediate or months proceeding, victims of pain may suffer in silence and, often, alone. With neurological conditions like Central Pain Syndrome (CPS), many survivors do. CPS is caused by damage to the central nervous system – ranging from a mild auto accident to a stoke. Other causes may include a tumor, Parkinson’s disease, Rheumatoid arthritis, or an epileptic attack.
Though CPS requires immediate care from pain management specialists, recent studies reveal that patients with Central Pain Syndrome “are often dismissed as making it up or exaggerating.” Thus many cases of Central Pain Syndrome go undiagnosed and/or untreated.Because of its complexities, there are no solid statistics on its etiology or condition. However the Central Pain Syndrome Foundation estimates 2,819,000 Americans with it. Dr. Steven T. Richey, of the MidSouth Pain Treatment Center, reports that conditions such as depression and dementia often result in under-reporting of the devastating disease in the elderly.
What are the symptoms of Central Pain Syndrome?
Symptoms vary from a constant burning sensation to sharp, mingled pinches and aches. Areas affected include the arms, legs, feet, or entire body. Depression, fatigue, and reduced activity are indirect complications. In more severe cases there is numbness and the loss of touch in feet and hands. So a warm embrace to someone suffering from this onerous condition may be paradoxically met with sudden withdrawal of the person being touched because even light touch can trigger pain. Therefore resting in bed or taking a seat is often extremely painful.
How can someone cope with this disease?
Dr. Richey states that, “we have long known that patients with Central Pain Syndrome need a supportive environment with a caring, compassionate team of doctors and nurses who are specifically trained to treat this challenging disease. At MidSouth Pain Treatment Center, we strive to meet these challenges as a team, and on behalf of each person’s unique, individual needs. So, while patients may initially come to our centers depressed, guarded, and in severe pain, our goal is to ensure that the patient can be discharged home with a hug from our staff.
– Tiara Baker