Diagnosis of Chronic Pain Syndrome

Diagnosis of Chronic Pain Syndrome

Chronic pain syndrome is a debilitating condition involving persistent pain. Discover how chronic pain neurofeedback can help.

Table of Contents

What Is Chronic Pain Syndrome?

It is only natural to search for relief when you are experiencing discomfort. However, chronic pain is distinct from temporary or acute pain. Acute pain comes on suddenly and goes away relatively quickly, while chronic pain persists for weeks, months, or even years. It can interfere with work, relationships, and quality of life. Many factors can cause chronic pain, including injuries, surgery, cancer, arthritis, and headaches. Around 25% of people with chronic pain eventually develop chronic pain syndrome.1

Chronic pain syndrome (CPS) is a debilitating condition that can significantly reduce the quality of life for those who suffer from it. CPS generally describes any type of pain that lasts more than three months. The pain may be constant or come and go, ranging from mild, moderate, or severe. In 2019, 20.4% of people in the United States had chronic pain, and 7.4% had high-impact chronic pain that interfered with their daily routines. 2
If you are experiencing chronic pain, a proper diagnosis and treatment are essential.

Is Chronic Pain Syndrome a Real Diagnosis?

CPS is an accurate diagnosis, but it is often used as a catch-all for various types of chronic pain, making it challenging to get a precise diagnosis. In some cases, CPS may be diagnosed when other conditions have been ruled out.
For example, if you see a doctor for chronic back pain and they cannot find a specific cause, you may be diagnosed with CPS. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean that your pain isn’t accurate or that it isn’t severe; it just means that the cause of your pain is unknown. In other cases, chronic pain syndrome may describe a type of pain with a known reason that does not respond well to treatment.

Can Chronic Pain Syndrome Be Cured?

There is no cure for CPS, but there are treatments that can help lessen the pain and improve one’s quality of life. The key is to work with the doctor to find a well-suited treatment plan.

How to Diagnose Chronic Pain Syndrome

Diagnosing chronic pain syndrome requires a few steps; these will be detailed below.

Medical History

Providing an accurate and complete medical history will give the doctor a better understanding of your health and any potential causes of your chronic pain.
The doctor will ask the following questions:
  • When did the pain start?
  • Where is your pain?
  • What does the pain feel like?
  • How intense is it, on a scale of zero to ten?
  • What makes it worse or better?
  • Have any treatments relieved it?

Key Diagnostic Factors

There are several critical diagnostic factors that the doctor will take into account when making a CPS diagnosis. These include:
  • Physical comorbidity
  • Duration of pain
  • Radiating pain
  • Morning stiffness in joints
  • Psychological comorbidity
  • Previous history of acute pain episodes

Tests Used to Diagnose Chronic Pain

One of the essential steps in diagnosing chronic pain is identifying the source of the pain. To do this, doctors will often order a variety of tests to rule out other conditions and pinpoint the source of the pain. Standard tests used to diagnose chronic pain include:
  • Blood tests
  • Electromyography to test muscle activity
  • Imaging tests
  • Reflex and balance tests
  • Spinal fluid tests
  • Urine tests

Neurofeedback and Chronic Pain Management

Neurofeedback, also known as EEG biofeedback or neurotherapy, is a type of therapy that uses electrical signals from the brain to help people focus and learn how to control their thoughts and actions. The therapy can treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression, addiction, sleep disorders, and migraines. It is also used to improve cognitive function and relieve symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Research has found neurofeedback to be an effective treatment option for headaches, with studies showing a 50% reduction after therapy. 3

How Does Neurofeedback Work?

Neurofeedback works by providing feedback to the brain that helps it learn to self-regulate. The input is usually in the form of games or visuals that the person watches or hears while hooked up to an EEG machine. The machine measures the electrical activity in the brain and provides feedback that helps the person learn to control their thoughts and emotions.

Does Neurofeedback Work for Chronic Pain?

Yes, neurofeedback is an effective treatment for chronic pain. Some studies have shown that neurofeedback can effectively treat chronic pain, but more research is needed to confirm these findings. 4
Nonetheless, many people who have tried neurofeedback say it has helped reduce pain and improve their quality of life. So if you have persistent pain, neurofeedback therapy may be worth investigating.

How to Use Neurofeedback for Chronic Pain Syndrome

Working with a qualified therapist is essential if you are interested in using neurofeedback for chronic pain. Neurofeedback is not a do-it-yourself therapy and should only be used under the guidance of a trained professional.
The following includes key procedures for neurofeedback therapy:
  • Set goals for treatment
  • Measuring brain wave activity
  • Train the brain with positive feedback
  • Repeat training
Diagnosis of Chronic Pain Syndrome

Effects of Neurofeedback in the Management of Chronic Pain

When used correctly, neurofeedback can be an effective treatment for chronic pain. Therapy can help to retrain the brain and improve self-regulation, leading to reduced pain and improved quality of life.
Neurofeedback may be a viable therapeutic option if you suffer from chronic pain; however, work with a skilled therapist to get the most out of this treatment.

Contact J. Flower Health Institute for Help With Chronic Pain

J. Flower Health Institute offers a comprehensive chronic pain program tailored to meet each individual’s needs. The first step in our program is to assess the severity of the pain and determine the best course of treatment.

The next step is to create a customized treatment plan that may include medications, physical therapy, and other modalities. The program aims to relieve chronic pain and improve the quality of life for those suffering from it.

J. Flower Health Institute has a team of experienced and compassionate staff dedicated to helping patients find relief from their chronic pain. If you or someone you know suffers from chronic pain, please contact us for help.