What is Central Pain Syndrome (CNS)?
Central Pain Syndrome falls under the category of neurological conditions. In this condition, brain, spinal cord and brainstem collectively known as central nervous system (CNS) is either damaged or its functioning altered. Several diseases such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, brain tumors and trauma to brain or spinal cord are believed to cause this syndrome.
The pain experienced may vary in individuals due to the difference in the source causing the pain. This condition may restrict itself to certain body parts such as hands or affect a huge portion of the body. The intensity of pain also depends on the cause of the pain.
Characteristic Features of Pain:
Central Pain Syndrome patients experience the pain constantly but the pain intensity varies, ranging from moderate to severe. The pain may worsen even by a simple hand touch, emotions, temperature variations and movement.
The pain experienced can be described as pressing, burning, aching, tearing, lacerating and cutting. It is also similar to pricking with needles and pins. Moreover, some people complain of a sudden and unwelcomed excruciating pain along with all the symptoms mentioned above complete with numbness of the affected parts. The patient may also indicate the loss of sensation and burning feeling in hands or feet.
This syndrome can take birth soon after any damage caused due to the diseases mentioned above or can appear several years after the patient has completely forgotten about the injury. In such cases the patients may fall victim to depression, frustration and anxiety not knowing the cause of this wide spread pain.
Central Pain Syndrome Treatment:
Medical professionals suggest pain relieving medications as the only currently available option to treat this syndrome to an extent. Anticonvulsants like gabapentin (neurontin) and tricyclic antidepressants like nortriptyline are effective pain relievers. Decreasing stress levels can also alleviate pain.
Although this syndrome is not considered to be fatal, the pain caused by it could be disturbing and debilitating. Seek doctor’s advice if the pain persists.