Chronic Pain & PTSD: How Your Past Can Impact Your Future Health

If you’ve been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), you may expect that you’ll have long-term emotional difficulties. Some common symptoms include frequent agitation, flashbacks, insomnia, or loss of interest in usual activities.

However, something many people don’t expect when they first receive their PTSD diagnosis is that they are more susceptible to experiencing chronic pain.

PTSD & Frequent Pain

Studies have shown that one of the most common symptoms PTSD patients report is pain. But because many don’t connect their pain to their PTSD, they don’t often receive the treatment that is necessary for them to feel better.

One study of volunteer firefighters found that roughly half of those with PTSD reported chronic pain, contrasted with only about 20 percent of firefighters who didn’t have PTSD. The most common type of pain reported was back pain.

Two other studies found that between 20 and 30 percent of all PTSD sufferers reported experiencing pain.

Why Do PTSD & Chronic Pain Occur Together?

When it comes to PTSD that comes from an accident, such as a motor vehicle accident or a combat injury, the link is clear: The trauma that leads to PTSD was caused by pain.

The more severe the traumatic event, the more severe the pain associated with it.

For those who have trauma not directly associated to a traumatic injury, or even those who do, pain also can be caused by hyperarousal leading to tensed muscles. PTSD can put a person in a constant state of stress, leading them to unconsciously tense their muscles. The longer the muscles are tense, the more painful they get.

Additionally, PTSD can lead to depression or other mental illnesses, making those who suffer less likely to engage in physical activity. As a result, they are more likely to get injured or feel muscle soreness from the lack of physical activity.

How Can Chiropractic Help?

While chiropractic care cannot directly help someone who suffers from PTSD, it can help relieve the chronic pain that comes with PTSD.

A chiropractor can assist with muscle soreness and inflammation, decreasing overall pain and helping you lead a less painful, more enjoyable life.

Experienced Chiropractic Care in Frederick, MD

At Lipinski Chiropractic, we have years of experience helping patients get relief from their chronic pain. Dr. Lipinski develops individualized treatment plans designed to help treat the pain at its source, giving you the best chance at feeling better faster. Schedule an appointment today!