Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain:

Chronic pain is not so much a condition, but a symptom. Nevertheless, its useful to understand this condition in its pathophysiology so that treatment options can be identified.

Chronic pain is generally defined as pain that lasts 3 or more months. Psychological processes may intensify or sensitise the body to pain.

 

Aetiology:

+ Organ Damage

Organ damage from ischemia, traumatic injury, cancer, or toxic injury can all lead to persistent, chronic pain.

+ Nerve Damage

Nerve damage from trauma, viral infection (such as EBV or HSV), as well as post surgery can result in chronic pain.

+ Psychosomatic

Chronic and severe depression or psycological disorders can lead to functional pain disorders like CFS, PCOS, or fibromyalgia.

 

Other Associated Symptoms:

Redness and Inflammation

Tingling sensations in limbs

Depression

Fatigue

Insomnia

 

Diagnostic Considerations:

Chronic pain is diagnosed after 3 months of persistent pain.

 

Therapeutic Aims:

1. Reduce Inflammation

  • TNF-a and NF-kB Inhibitors (Curcuma longa, Boswellia serrata)
  • Inhibit Eicosanoid Production (Salix alba, Filipendula ulmaria, Populus tremula, Harpagophytum procumbens)
  • Glucocorticomimetics (Rehmannia glutinosa, Glycyrrhiza glabra)
  • Antioxidants (Vitis vinifera, Pinus pinasta)
  • Nutrients (Fish oil)

2. Restore Damaged Tissue

  • Vulneraries (Calendula officinalis)
  • Connective Tissue Tonics (Centella asiatica, Symphytum officinale, Vitis vinifera, Pinus pinasta)
  • Tissue-Specific Trophorestoratives

3. Reduce Pain

  • Analgesics (Eschscholtzia californica, Corydalis cava, Piscidia erythrina)
  • Sedatives (Piper methysticum, Valeriana officinalis)

4. Manage Affective Disorders

(Including mood)

  • Antidepressants (Hypericum perforatum)
  • Thymoleptics (Melissa officinalis, Turnera diffusa, Theobroma cacao)
  • Anxiolytics (Piper methysticum, Passiflora incarnata)
  • Sedatives (Scutellaria lateriflora, Passiflora incarnata, Piper methysticum, Valeriana officinalis)

5. Improve Sleep Quality

  • Sedatives (Eschscholtzia californica, Piscidia erythrina, Valeriana edulis, V. officinalis, Passiflora incarnata, Lavandula officinalis)

6. Improve Stress Adaptation

  • Adaptogens (Rhodiola rosea, Withania somnifera, Panax quinquefolius, Eleutherococcus senticosus, Panax ginseng)
 

Comorbidities:

  • Sleep disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue
  • Obesity
  • Anxiety
 

Cautions:

Identifying the cause of pain is necessary to rule out more severe underlying conditions.

 

Herbs For Chronic Pain:

 

Author:

Justin Cooke

The Sunlight Experiment

Updated: April 2018


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References:

  1. Merskey, H. E. (1986). Classification of chronic pain: descriptions of chronic pain syndromes and definitions of pain terms. Pain.
  2. Farrar, J. T., Young Jr, J. P., LaMoreaux, L., Werth, J. L., & Poole, R. M. (2001). Clinical importance of changes in chronic pain intensity measured on an 11-point numerical pain rating scale. Pain, 94(2), 149-158.