Fibromyalgia is a term used to describe chronic, widespread pain, along with a heightened response to pain. Affecting far more women than men, and mostly people in their 40s and 50s, this condition affects the muscles, skin, and soft tissue. The condition causes chronic and widespread muscle pain and stiffness along with headaches and tender joints, and can also cause numbness and tingling in the arms, legs, hands, or feet.
Migraine, Cluster & Tension Headaches, and Face Pain
Migraine headaches cause severe, debilitating pain that can start as a dull ache and progress to a throbbing or pulsing pain located in any portion of the head. Migraine pain is often accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound.
Cluster headaches refer to a group of headaches that occur over a relatively short period of time, usually several weeks. These headaches can be quite severe and might occur anywhere from every other day to several times in one day.
Tension headaches result from contracted muscles in the neck and scalp. The pain from a tension headache is commonly felt in the base of the skull and the back of the neck, along with the front, top, or sides of the head. The neck muscles can also feel tight and tender to the touch.
Sinus infections can trigger a sinus headache. These infections occur when the nasal and sinus passages become inflamed due to allergies or viruses. Sinus headaches are typically felt as pressure and discomfort in the forehead and cheeks.
Occipital neuralgia occurs when the occipital nerves, which run from the top of the spinal cord upward to the scalp, become injured or inflamed, resulting in a constant aching throb. Symptoms can be similar to those of a migraine or other headache, including light sensitivity and pain with movement of the head.
Spinal arthritis pain radiates into the back of head and is often reproduced when a person looks up or turns their head from side to side.
Nearly everyone experiences abdominal pain of one kind or another at some point. Some abdominal pain causes and conditions are more critical than others. If you are experiencing abdominal pain, it’s important to note whether the pain is mild or intense, dull or sharp, achy or cramp-like. These are important symptoms to share with your healthcare provider at Balcones Pain Consultants when you seek treatment. Determining whether the pain is from ribs and cartilage or external muscles is important, versus deeper pain from adhesions after abdominal surgery.
Arm pain can result from injuries, inflammation or illnesses that develop in the muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, or nerves of the arm. Pain felt in the arm can also originate from a problem in another area of the body, such as the upper spine, the neck, the shoulder or wrist, or the heart. Tendinitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, pinched nerve, and bursitis are all common arm pain causes and conditions, along with reflex sympathetic dystrophy and chronic regional pain syndrome
One of the most common locations for acute or chronic pain is the back. Common back pain causes and conditions include injuries like sprains, strains, and fractures, as well as conditions such as arthritis, degenerative disc disease, ankylosing spondylitis, or a herniated disc. Whether dull, sharp, or stabbing, back pain can make walking, standing and sitting difficult, and can also worsen after lying down. Back pain can limit the ability to work or be active, and bending or twisting can feel difficult or impossible.
Foot pain is common, especially as we age. Repetitive overuse injuries, trauma, and inflammatory conditions can all contribute to foot pain causes and conditions. Even simply wearing ill-fitting shoes without ample cushioning can cause foot discomfort. At Balcones Pain Consultants, we treat many different types of foot pain causes and conditions, including injured or inflamed tendons, muscles, bones, nerves, or connective tissues in the foot that trigger ongoing discomfort.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) shares several characteristics with fibromyalgia, including the mysterious nature of its causes, a similar target demographic, and the difficulty of diagnosing and treating its symptoms. Along with extreme, overwhelming fatigue that isn’t relieved by sleeping, CFS also causes recurring and chronic pain. CFS pain can manifest in the form of headaches, sore muscles or joints, or a sore throat. At least some of this pain may be the result of lack of exercise or lying down for prolonged periods due to overwhelming fatigue.
Arthritis is a breakdown in the cartilage in the joints due to aging or inflammation. The resulting lack of cartilage often causes pain, stiffness, swelling and weakness. There are two types of arthritis: rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis, the most common type of this condition, is most prevalent among older people, women, people who work on their feet, and people who are overweight.
Neuropathy and Nerve Damage
“Neuropathy” refers to nerve pain caused by abnormal nerve functioning - nerve signals firing even when pain stimuli are not present. Shingles, diabetes, ruptured discs in the spine, and certain other illnesses and disorders can cause nerve damage resulting in neuropathy. Compression and crush injuries can also lead to neuropathy, as can certain nutritional deficiencies. Neuropathy and nerve damage can feel like mild tingling, prickling, burning, numbness, or sensitivity.
Hand pain can be quite debilitating, especially when accompanied by weakness, numbness, or swelling of the fingers or joints. There are many different types of hand pain causes and conditions, since there are so many structures of the fingers, hand, and wrist that must work in tandem. Injury, inflammation, disease and repetitive stress conditions can occur in the joints, tendons, bones, or nerves of the hands, and any of these can cause pain.
Head & Face Pain
Head and facial pain causes and conditions can include a headache or an underlying infection or problem in the neck, teeth, or jaw. Nerve disorders and certain chronic conditions can also cause pain in the head and face. The pain might be dull, throbbing, or sharp, and discomfort might be accompanied by numbness, tingling, or nausea. Common head and facial pain causes and conditions include migraine and tension headaches, myofascial pain syndrome, neuralgia and TMJ.
Hip pain, which includes any pain occurring in the hip joint, thigh or groin, can be caused by a wide variety of issues. Injuries, chronic conditions, reduced blood flow, and simple aging can all cause pain in and around the hip. Hip pain can also signal an underlying problem in the lower spine. This type of discomfort might be accompanied by stiffness or a limited range of motion, and may worsen with activity or when lying on the affected side.
Knee pain is common, especially as we age or put on weight, putting more pressure on our knees. Since the knees bear the body’s weight during any activity that uses the legs, including standing, walking, and running, these parts of our body are prone to chronic pain. Common knee pain causes and conditions include inflammation, injury, repetitive stress, and mechanical problems.
Leg pain can result from a problem in the leg or can radiate from another part of the body, such as the spine or buttocks. Most leg pain is the result of wear and tear, overuse, or injury to the joints, bones, or muscles of the leg. Common leg pain causes and conditions include fractures, or strains to the muscles, ligaments, or tendons of the legs, along with sciatica, complex regional pain syndrome, and phantom limb pain.
The neck, or cervical spine, is a complex network of bones, muscles, joints, and nerves. Neck pain may be felt in the neck itself, but often originates in the back. It may also radiate to the shoulders or down the arms, or might be felt as a tension headache. Pain in the neck can be dull and achy, sore and tender, or sharp and stabbing, and can make turning the head difficult. Neck pain causes and conditions include whiplash injuries, strains and sprains, as well as conditions like scoliosis, herniated discs, or compression fractures of the spine. Degenerative disc disease, rheumatoid arthritis or cancer can also cause neck pain.
Pelvic pain is any discomfort felt between the belly button and the top of the legs. Pelvic pain causes and conditions are many and varied, and can depend on whether you are a man or a woman. Pain in the pelvis can result from anything from a digestive issue to appendicitis, depression, or a problem in the reproductive system. For this reason, prompt medical attention is important to properly diagnose and treat severe or ongoing pelvic pain.