Central pain syndrome is a neurological condition due to damage or dysfunction of the central nervous system, a portion or entirely. The central nervous system consists of the brain, brainstem, and spinal cord. Many different conditions and diseases can cause central pain syndrome, including:
Each condition can affect different areas of the body, which varies in location and intensity. The most common areas to be affected are the face and limbs. Often the pain presents as burning and tingling but may include a variety of sensations as well.
Reducing stress often improves pain related to CPS. The condition usually causes moderate to severe pain, and thus medications are often recommended. Antidepressants like nortriptyline or duloxetine and anticonvulsants like gabapentin or pregabalin are prescribed. Injections might be recommended if the pain does not respond well to these medications. Sympathetic blocks are the most commonly used and often effective. Opioids like tramadol and tapentadol may also be recommended depending on the individual and severity of the pain and dysfunction. Typically, the treatment plan includes a combination of therapies in order to reduce pain and restore greater function.
The PNS consists of all the nerves outside of the central nervous system. These are the nerves beyond the brain, the brainstem, and the spinal cord. The PNS carries information and impulses to and from the central nervous system including sensory and motor information. This allows for feeling and the use of muscles. There are also nerves that control the organs and vessels of the body; this is called the autonomic nervous system. Disorders or injuries can affect any of these nerves, some of which include peripheral neuropathies, compression neuropathies like carpal tunnel syndrome, and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).
Compression neuropathies include carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, tarsal tunnel syndrome, lateral femoral cutaneous nerve entrapment (meralgia paresthetica), etc. This is caused by entrapment or significant injury of the nerve and occurs in various areas of the body. Commonly the wrist (carpal tunnel), the elbow (ulnar groove), the pelvis, and the ankle (tarsal tunnel) are affected.
Treatments may include activity modification, rest, bracing, clothing modifications, and over-the-counter medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories. Physical therapy may be prescribed. If this does not improve symptoms, injections using steroids may be recommended. If the pain is still persistent surgery may be recommended. Electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies (NCS) may be done to confirm the diagnosis prior to surgery; these are studies that help to confirm the diagnosis by evaluating the electrical activity produced by muscles and nerves.
Nerve pain can have a negative impact on the quality of your life, making it difficult to perform routine daily tasks. Fortunately, the team at The Denver Spine and Pain Institute offers the most advanced treatments to alleviate your pain, helping you get back to enjoying life again.
We provide our exclusive Connected Care Approach™ specifically designed to get you back to life. This approach involves:
Please contact us today to schedule an appointment. The Denver Spine and Pain Institute serves patients in Denver and the surrounding areas of Colorado.Schedule an Appointment