Medical Questions > Mental Health > PTSD Forum

PTSD & chronic pain

i have been looking for information regarding the connection with ptsd
and chronic pain. i have been diagnosed with ptsd from a a car wreck
that occured in march of 09. i substained several injuries. to mention
four fractured ribs, a fractured collar bone and a possible fractured neck. i
have most of the text book symptoms which includes frightening nightmares,
intense anxiety attacks, uncontrolable anger at times, and i pretty much keep
myself isolated at home and have lost contact with my friends. i
understand that i have had time for my injurys to heal but i am still
experiencing severe pain, even in parts of my body that werent injured
during the wreck. i have been told two totally opposite things about
this. one is that i must have a severe/chronic injury such as spinal
damage to experience chronic pain with ptsd. the other thing i have
been told is that with ptsd you do not have to experience any injuries
to experience chronic pain if you have ptsd. matter of fact va.gov
states that chronic pain can stem from ptsd caused by phsychological abuse.
my phsyciatrist recommended that i see
a pain specialist but after a few months the pain specialist said
they were going to have to
taper my meds down if i didnt get an mri and show that i have a
serious back issue or some visible injury to look good for their paperwork.
they said i must have a physical injury that would need chronic care.
is this correct ?
or do they not fully understand the correlation between ptsd and chronic pain ?
i do know of a veteran that experienced ptsd from war and was given pain meds
from the VA so im pretty confident that my dr. does not understand the relationship
between the two. anyone have any ideas on how i could prove to my doctor that
it is ok to treat me for this ? thank you
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replied February 6th, 2010
PTSD and Chronic Pain
Hi,

My fiance has also experienced something similar to your situation. When he was 18, his dad died of a heart attack in front of him. In the years to follow he has struggled with alcoholism, drug abuse and PTSD. He has been in recovery for the alcohol and drugs now for several years. He was in a car accident in July of 06 when a lady rear ended him. Since then he has had severe, unrelenting chronic pain. After that he was diagnosed with all kinds of things. He went to a pain specialist for awhile, then after doing some mega research (pain pills were helping somewhat, but he had to take more and more for them to work) he decided to try methadone. He has been on methadone for over a year and his life has improved dramatically.
Even though his psychiatrist has diagnosed him with PTSD, and it is obvious this is what he has, no doctor has addressed it. He has had really no treatment for it, except his Valium and an antidepressant (but those were prescribed for anxiety and depression).
I really think that they do not understand PTSD's connection to chronic pain, unfortunately. I, like you, am confident that there is a connection, but until someone out there decides to do extensive research on the issue, it may be rarely addressed by doctors.

Maybe researching more online, and looking for books on PTSD and chronic pain will help you. There HAS to be something out there.
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