Names for chronic pain describes many things most patients encounter when struggling with pain. Maybe you were misdiagnosed? Treated poorly? This will help you understand your pain a bit more clearer.
In my blog, I talk a lot about central sensitization, which describes the changes that can take place in a person’s nervous system and make her more sensitive to pain. However, there are many other pain-related terms you will most likely come across, whether you’re doing your own research or simply trying to understand your medical records.
So here is a list of some of the most common terms I have come across in my own reading. I hope you find it helpful.
Pain Amplification: means pretty much the same thing as central sensitization– that your nervous system is “amplifying” pain signals.
Allodynia: When the nervous system perceives what should be harmless physical sensations as extremely painful. A friend once told me there were times she couldn’t stand to feel the fabric of shirt she was wearing against her chest. Tears came to her eyes just describing it to…
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December 19, 2012 at 6:05 pm
It is nice to be able to put names to certain types of pains. Thanks for the helpful information. I look forward to your next post.
brain injury self rehabilitation (BISR)
December 19, 2012 at 9:16 pm
Thank you for taking the time to reading my posts. If you feel there is something I need to be doing I am always open to suggestions.
January 15, 2013 at 10:16 pm
Great stuff, Edie! Forgive me for taking a break. The holidays were hard on me. I had some tough pain times, so reading this was timely! Wow! You write about such great stuff!
I wanted to comment on Somatoform Disorder in particular, since it may come to have some dire consequences for those of us who are suffering from chronic pain but have not yet been diagnosed with a serious disease we clearly have.
One result of the new healthcare laws taking effect this year is the requirement that all doctors put their patients’ medical records online. That has some very favorable effects on us–for example, when we go to the ER, physicians know our treatment plans from various clinics, etc.
HOWEVER (and it’s a big one)….let’s say you’ve been to every doctor in the yellow pages trying to figure out why the pain is so bad that even your hair hurts. Eventually, someone gets the idea that you’re a nutcase. Let’s say it’s the neurologist. All she has to do is write the diagnostic code for Somatoform Disorder.
That diagnostic code can have dire consequences on your further treatment for your chronic pain, since now everyone is aware that you’re a nutcase. Perhaps some of your future treatment will be denied for it (as in being told by a customer service rep at your health insurance co: “Oh, Maxine, just take a tylenol. You don’t need to see a pain specialist.”). That’s really scary.
God help us all if our symptoms aren’t “severe” enough to catch someone’s eye! I am just lucky that the law wasn’t enacted before the genetic testing was made available to me!!
brain injury self rehabilitation (BISR)
January 16, 2013 at 6:51 pm
I’ve been concerned, but we all know there are a lot of ups-and-downs to living with chronic problems! Are we having fun yet? Right…I think many believe we are!…including healthcare professionals. Thanks for sharing the information on Somatoform Disorder. This will be a travesty, but reality this has been happening and that’s why so many end up going to every doctor in the yellow pages. Many listen to their colleagues and others just don’t know! Once in a while, you find the one who does and can diagnose and treat properly. This will definitely get worse since insurance won’t cover anything, and patients will suffer needlessly and die because they aren’t treated. Their families will be destroyed by the consequences of this system.
I cringe to think how horrific it will get, because it took me 17 1/2 years at something that was obvious. No, I have no difficulty now and all you have been through and most with chronic medical problems … but no one should go through all the struggles that so many do before proper diagnosis and treatment.
Incidentally, my 18 1/2 year old nephew (my June 4th post) was finally treated when showing up in ER with same pain. How bad is that pain? I’m sure you heard that before. Anyway, he was in chronic renal failure, had kidney surgery since and hopefully will regain some kidney function. It’s only been a couple weeks since surgery so don’t know yet. If not his kidney will be removed. My sister was blind-sided when they said his “kidney is 4x size of his right kidney”. Why would anyone expect that news when healthcare ignored his symptoms and complaints.
As he recovers he’ll be able to return to college in the fall. Why don’t healthcare professionals remember that depression is a symptoms of other problems? We need a Prevention Model of Healthcare instead of Disease Model. We could prevent many problems, decrease the financial drain on disability, and keep people working and healthy…we’d all like to be doing that! When life was so much easier. What do you think?