Intractable Pain Signs & Symptoms: What Are They?
The following are some of the most common signs and symptoms associated with intractable pain. You may experience many of these signs or symptoms. Some of them might not affect your life very much, but others will definitely impact it greatly. If you have any of these signs or symptoms, then you need to get professional help immediately!
You feel like you cannot move at all. You have no energy whatsoever. Your body feels stiff and immobile. You can’t even sit up straight without feeling like you will fall over again.
You are unable to sleep due to the pain in your lower back, neck, shoulders, arms and legs. You often wake up from the night’s rest with aching muscles and stiffness in your joints.
Your back hurts so bad that you cannot stand up straight without falling down. You can barely walk around the house or even go out into the yard. You don’t want to leave your bed because you fear getting hurt if you try to do anything else.
You are constantly exhausted and tired all the time. Your muscles ache and burn when they move, making it difficult for you to do any kind of physical activity. You can’t even exercise to make yourself feel better.
You feel like you might have a heart attack or stroke at any given moment. You are worried about your health and how this pain will affect it in the future.
You’ve seen many doctors and specialists but nobody can seem to say what is wrong with you. You keep getting different diagnoses and there are too many medications for you to keep up with.
If you are experiencing any of these signs or symptoms then you really should talk with your doctor about them. If your doctor cannot figure out what is going on then you may need to seek out second opinions from other physicians. The more information you can provide, the better the chance of getting yourself properly diagnosed and treated.
While the above paragraphs describe some of the most common signs and symptoms of intractable pain there are others that are less common but sometimes even more dangerous. If you are experiencing any of the following signs or symptoms then you really need to seek out emergency medical attention immediately.
You are suddenly unable to move or feel a part of your body, including parts of your face.
Your intractable pain is so bad that you feel like throwing up and develop a fever.
You have chest pains and a rapid heart rate.
You become short of breath or have difficulty breathing.
You feel dizzy and lightheaded all the time.
If you are experiencing any of these signs or symptoms then you really need to seek out emergency medical attention immediately.
Misdiagnosing intractable pain: There are many problems that can cause intractable pain, some of these issues may be minor and easily remedied while others may be major and possibly life-threatening. It is very important to get an accurate diagnosis of what is causing your intractable pain. Failure to do so can result in serious medical issues, disability or even death. The following are some common medical issues that can cause intractable pain.
Dangerous conditions: Some conditions are very dangerous and if left untreated can prove fatal. These conditions include severe anemia, septic shock, toxic poisoning, blood clots and elevated liver enzymes with high levels of fat in the blood. It is important to get treatment for these conditions right away if you develop any of the symptoms listed above.
Medical emergencies: Severe chest pains, shortness of breath and dizziness are all signs of a medical emergency. These issues can be life threatening if they are not treated immediately. A person experiencing these conditions should seek immediate medical attention.
Migraines: Migraines can be a sign of a more serious underlying issue such as uncontrollable hypertension. If you experience any of the other signs or symptoms listed above then you might be experiencing a migraine accompanied by high blood pressure. In this case you should seek medical treatment immediately.
Dental emergencies: If you have a tooth that is broken below the gums then it could become infected and the infection could spread throughout your body. This is an emergency situation and you should seek immediate medical attention.
Severe pain: If your intractable pain becomes so severe that you cannot take it anymore then you may have to consider taking extreme measures. This could involve something relatively minor such as taking a few extra painkillers or something more serious like seeking out medical assistance whether it be through calling an ambulance or visiting an emergency room.
Sources & references used in this article:
Patterns of illness behaviour in patients with intractable pain by I Pilowsky, ND Spence – Journal of psychosomatic research, 1975 – Elsevier
Cerebral radiosurgery. I. Gammathalamotomy in two cases of intractable pain. by L Leksell – 1968 – osti.gov
Chronic intrathecal morphine for intractable pain by RD Penn, JA Paice – Journal of neurosurgery, 1987 – thejns.org
Spinal cord stimulation for chronic, intractable pain: experience over two decades by RB North, DH Kidd, M Zahurak, CS James… – Neurosurgery, 1993 – academic.oup.com
Deep brain stimulation for intractable pain: a 15-year experience by K Kumar, C Toth, RK Nath – Neurosurgery, 1997 – academic.oup.com
Spinal cord stimulation for chronic, intractable pain: superiority of “multi-channel” devices by RB North, MG Ewend, MT Lawton, S Piantadosi – Pain, 1991 – Elsevier
Peripheral nerve stimulation in the treatment of intractable pain by JN Campbell, DM Long – Journal of neurosurgery, 1976 – thejns.org
Illness behaviour syndromes associated with intractable pain by I Pilowsky, ND Spence – Pain, 1976 – Elsevier