Chronic pain

Find your back to “normal” everyday life

Acute pain is an important warning signal that immediately makes it clear that, for instance, you have to see a dentist. In contrast, chronic pain was lost its warning function; the pain has become an illness. You wake up with pain, fall asleep with pain, live with pain.

Our specialists at Schoen Clinic have many years of experience in treating chronic pain. We get to the root of your pain with a customised concept consisting of effective treatments.

Causes & symptoms

What is chronic pain?

Chronic pain is when the symptoms persist for longer than six months. A sustained somatoform disorder (SSD) is when a patient consistently complains of severe and excruciating pain for months that does not have a physical cause, but rather emotional and psychological stress factors. In this case, a genetically physical predisposition to illness and previous pain experiences that have been saved in the pain memory, result in a special kind of sensitisation. This can be further reinforced by certain thought patterns and emotional states as well as social factors like family and career. As part of a learning process, the patients then develop a pain behaviour that is no longer considered a reaction to the pain, but as a personality-specific way of dealing with it.

Causes: How does chronic pain develop?

Chronic pain usually has a physical root cause which initially cause acute pain. However, sometimes the cause has long since healed, but the pain still remains. Then, the body constantly sends
pain signals.

Examples of physical causes:
  • Illnesses or functional disorders of the muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints
  • Changes in the nervous system
  • Mixed forms and physical changes resulting from an undetermined cause
The psyche also plays a major role. For instance, it depends on how the affected person handles pain. Pain can easily become chronic if at least two psychological factors apply:
  • Stress and stressful situations
  • Increasing passivity, relieving and incorrect posture, reduced physical fitness due to pain-related fear
  • Strategies for getting through it
  • Mental focus on the pain experience
  • Overvaluing physical sensations and the consequences of illnesses (“creating a catastrophe”)
  • Brooding about pain-related content and transferring the cause to organic factors
  • Desperation or demoralisation
  • Being convinced you are no longer physically able (consequences: modified role within the family, social withdrawal, problems at work)
The perception of pain is a dynamic process into which the effects of former pain experiences flow. Acoustic, visual and olfactory environmental stimuli can awaken the memory of earlier experiences and amplify the psychological stress. The fear of new pain ultimately results in chronic pain.

Get treatment for acute pain at the right time. That is the only way to keep it from becoming chronic.

Symptoms: Accompanying symptoms of chronic pain

Due to a variety of failed treatment attempts, many affected person become more and more hopeless and, as a result, they often suffer from depression. This is a serious complication as depressed people are generally even more sensitive to pain. Therefore, here the focus is on a combination of stopping or modifying medication in and therapy for the depression.

A special form of progression of a chronic pain disorder is fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS), which includes additional symptoms such as exhaustion and attention deficits. Fibromyalgia is often accompanied by depression.

Diagnostics

Diagnosis: Experts from every speciality analyse your pain

Chronic pain cannot be divided into medical specialities. We have therefore organised diagnosis and treatment around the problem. As a team, we get to the root of your pain
In a multi-professional assessment, our specialists for internal medicine, neurologists, rheumatologists, orthopaedists and psychiatrists develop precise findings on which your treatment is based. Our pain experts also observe, in precise detail, how the pain has affected you: They include social, biographical and psychological factors in your treatment concept. If you already have a diagnosis when you come to us, we will take a close look at it.

In the event of illnesses of the locomotor and musculoskeletal systems, we first have a conversation with you to understand your medical history. Then, we perform a comprehensive exam. To complete the diagnosis, specific surveys can be used to confirm the clinical diagnosis and potentially provide new information. In general, we also use imaging procedures such as x-ray, computer tomography or magnetic resonance imaging. Additional lab tests may also be expedient.