The Chemical Connection Between Chronic Pain & Irritability

The Chemical Connection Between Chronic Pain & Irritability

It goes without saying that chronic pain affects more than just the physical wellbeing of the patient. Pain is often accompanied by fatigue, sleeplessness, depression, frustration, and anxiety. Many relationships are strained and patients may find that their activity levels vastly decrease.

At American Spine, we are determined to find more than a solution to your chronic pain; we give patients resources to live fulfilling and healthy lives. Our board certified pain specialists, Dr. Sial, Dr. Kelling, and Dr. Fisher, use the most comprehensive approaches to pain management to give patients their lives back in the safest and most effective ways possible. With four locations in California, American Spine is the best pain management facility in the western United States.

It is transparently understandable why a person would feel unmotivated and weary having a chronic pain diagnosis. Pain specialists and neurologists now believe the connection between pain and depression is more than just surface level—researchers now believe the connection is biochemical.

A team of neurologists from Stanford recently discovered evidence that shows chronic pain as a trigger of molecular changes in the brain, causing a decrease in motivation. One of the post-doctoral scientists involved in the research, Dr. Neil Schwartz, says, “The behavior changes seem quite primary to the pain itself. They’re not just a consequence of living with it.”

According to research, 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, and roughly 80 percent of the American population will experience chronic pain at some point in their life. When someone experiences an acute injury, the emotional response is often coupled with fatigue and reduced motivation. This makes biological sense because the patient is kept still to rest, often leading to more pain and stalled healing.

The biochemical changes that occur, according to research collected from animal studies, interfere with pleasure and reward-seeking mechanics. These variations prevent patients from wanting to get up and move around.

At American Spine, we give patients the physical and emotional care that keeps them motivated. Setting goals and experiencing the feeling of attaining a goal is treatment in itself. If you have recently suffered an injury, disease, or have unexplained pain, contact a representative at any of our American Spine locations for a consultation. 

At American Spine, we are dedicated to treating chronic pain and spine conditions. Offering the latest in minimally invasive spine surgery and other effective treatment options, American Spine is the leading pain physician group of California. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at (951)-734-PAIN (7246).

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.

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