After surviving a stroke, many patients report experiencing pain. This pain, often misunderstood, is called central post stroke pain syndrome, or CPSP. Symptoms can come in many ways and places. CPSP impacts the thalamic part of your brain, also called the parietal lobe. This area of the brain is responsible for processing feelings like temperature and touch.
When it’s compromised, a simple touch can feel painful and you can feel a myriad of different sensations. This is because the brain is not firing correctly. This can be quite painful and impact your quality of life. Not to worry, though, because this condition can be managed and treated with the appropriate care.
8 % of people who have a stroke can develop this pain, but the most common culprits are hemorrhagic strokes that directly impact the blood vessels in your brain.
According to the Stroke Association, this type of pain can be managed with anticonvulsants and antidepressants by helping to influence the way your brain processes pain. Narcotics should be use with caution because they are habit forming. Deep brain stimulation and surgery are also on the table, but they’re usually used as a last resort. Keep in mind that finding a good doctor who you connect with and trust is quite important as well. It is also imperative to take your mental state into account. Depression after a stroke, formerly known as post stroke depression, is not uncommon when you’re dealing with all of these changes. Post stroke insomnia is also quite common. A mental health professional can be consulted in addition to a physician to make sure that you’re receiving a well rounded dose of treatment. As always, discuss treatment options with your doctor to figure out the best path for you.
At Pain & Spine Center of Charlottesville, we provide treatment options for patients suffering from Central Poststroke Pain Syndrome. Call us today at 434-328-2774 to schedule your appointment!