Total Body Pain Relief
Are you living with pain throughout your whole body? If you feel chronic pain all over, then you probably understand the difficulty moving, sleeping and accomplishing your daily activities that serious body aches can cause. Total body pain can significantly affect your quality of life and productivity.
Unlike localized pain conditions, total body pain is felt throughout the body and can cause additional symptoms such as fatigue, stress and depression. Total body pain may be described as mild, moderate or severe, and can be acute, intermittent or long-term (chronic).
Often, body pain can be caused by something as simple as intense exercise or a virus such as the flu. Sometimes, however, full-body pain can be caused by more complex underlying issues.
The first step in treating your total body pain is to get an accurate diagnosis of the cause of your symptoms. Based on your diagnosis, you and your doctor or pain specialist can determine your best treatment options.
At The Pain Center, we can help diagnose your widespread chronic pain, and we offer a range of therapies to treat your pain. Our goal is to get you back to your normal activities. Contact us to meet with one of our pain specialists.
Causes of Total Body Pain
What causes full body pain, and how can you find pain relief? The answer depends on the underlying condition that creates your pain. Whole body pain can be caused by a number of conditions, such as:
- Intense exercise or overuse (muscle aches)
- Viral infections such as the flu or other illness
- Poor circulation or cardiac disorders
- Painful menstruation
- Lupus or other autoimmune conditions
- Lyme disease
- Stress and anxiety
- Inactivity (can contribute to pain or be caused by it)
- Certain vitamin deficiencies such as vitamin D
- Some prescription medication side-effects (e.g. statins )
- Genetic mutations
- Physical or emotional traumas
- Nerve damage
- Opioid induced hyperalgesia
- Other underlying conditions
Total Body Pain Symptoms and Diagnosis
As with all pain issues, be sure to discuss all your symptoms with your doctor. Symptoms associated with some forms of whole-body pain can include:
- Joint aches and pains, or aches all over the body
- Morning stiffness
- Numbness and tingling in the upper or lower limbs
- Muscle pain and widespread muscle aches
- Stiffness and weakness
- Aching with or without fever
- Tenderness and swelling
- Reduced range of motion
- Change in how you walk or move due to pain (limping)
- Muscle cramps or burning
- Difficulty sleeping or falling asleep (insomnia)
- Fatigue and inactivity
- Anxiety and depression
- Impaired cognitive function, concentration and memory problems
Be sure to get medical help right away if you have trouble breathing, dizziness, muscle weakness or a stiff neck along with high fever.
Whole body pain can be described as a sharp, dull, aching, stabbing and/or throbbing pain. Some areas may feel more tender than others.
To diagnose the cause of your pain, your doctor will review your past medical history, family history, social history, medications and perform a physical examination. Additionally, imaging can help diagnose the source of your pain include X-rays, MRI scan, CT scan and/or blood tests. It is important that your condition is properly diagnosed so that you can receive the most effective and appropriate treatment.
How to Treat Total Body Pain
Your treatment options depend on the underlying cause and severity of your pain.
How can you ease the discomfort of total body pain? Treatment may start with conservative therapies, such as over-the-counter aspirin, acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. ibuprofen). These nonprescription medications can be effective for certain types of pain when taken according to instructions. You may also consider home care such as using heating or cold packs, relaxation exercises, warm baths or showers, and rest.
The pain management specialists at The Pain Center may also recommend the following interventional pain therapies to reduce total body pain:
- Prescription medications / medication management
- Topical agents (creams)
- Injections such as steroid medications
- Nerve blocks
- Physical therapy (can include exercises, losing weight if necessary, heat and cold therapy, electrical nerve stimulation)
- Alternative treatments, including supplements, acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, massage, meditation and yoga
- Relaxation therapy and breathing techniques
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (psychotherapy)
Some of the interventional medical therapies we provide at The Pain Center include:
Medication management involves the pain specialist prescribing and regulating the medication that you use to help control your pain. The pain management specialist will provide you with the knowledge you need to take your medications properly.
The Pain Center takes a conservative approach with medication management. We try to limit prescription medications to help avoid dependence and unwanted side effects.
One option for treating pain is injections of dexamethasone, a steroid that helps reduce pain and inflammation. This can be very effective for arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and numerous other etiologies of inflammation and pain.
A nerve block is an injection therapy that alleviates pain caused by a nerve(s). Much like other injection procedures, a nerve block requires the use of ultrasound and/or fluoroscopy with contrast dye to correctly locate and inject pain medication. Patients may experience several days, weeks, or months of pain relief from a nerve block procedure.
Neuromodulation treatments use low-voltage electrical pulses to block the sensation of pain.
When Further Total Body Pain Treatment is Required
Based on the underlying condition, further treatments may be required. If there is something that can be addressed by another type of specialist, we will refer you to the appropriate specialty doctor.
Commonly Asked Questions about Total Body Pain
What causes total body pain?
Total body pain can be caused by a range of conditions. (See the “Causes” section, above.) It is important that you get an accurate diagnosis of the cause of your pain in order to determine the most appropriate treatment options for you.
Is total body pain considered fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is only one of the numerous conditions that can cause pain all over the body. It is important that you and your doctor determine the cause of your pain so that you can be properly treated for your pain symptoms. It can take time to determine the cause of your pain and sometimes the diagnosis is determined through a process of elimination.
What is the best treatment for total body pain?
The best treatment for you will depend upon your individual health situation and the cause of your pain. You and your pain specialist or other medical specialists can create a customized treatment plan to help you see improvement in your pain symptoms and get you back to your normal activities.
How can the cause of my total body pain be diagnosed?
Because there are many possible causes of total body pain, the best place to start in determining the cause of your pain is by seeing your primary care physician. The Pain Center can also help to diagnose and treat your pain, or refer you to a specialist to help with diagnosis. We will do an examination and ask you about your health and family history, and can provide additional tests, such as blood tests or medical imaging, if necessary.
Are there any alternative therapies for treating total body pain?
There are a number of alternative therapies you can use to help with whole body pain, such as acupuncture, relaxation exercise, meditation and yoga. In addition, there are home remedies you can readily use, such as over-the-counter pain relievers (use as directed), rest, cold or hot packs, and appropriate stretching or exercise.
What should I do once the cause of my total body pain is diagnosed?
Once the cause of your total body pain is diagnosed, be sure to educate yourself on your condition. Information will be provided to you by your doctor or pain specialist, and information about most conditions is also available online from reputable medical websites. Your pain specialist will help you learn about your condition and the treatment options that are available to you.
I suspect that the prescription medications I am taking may be contributing to my total body pain. What should I do?
Some prescription medications, such as statins for lowering cholesterol, can cause or contribute to body aches. If you suspect that your prescription medications may be contributing to your body pain, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss possible side-effects of the drugs you are taking. He or she can help you determine if your pain may be a side-effect, and whether there are alternative drugs you can try.
I have been suffering from depression. Could this be contributing to my total body pain?
Depression can make pain feel more severe and long-lasting. In addition, the existence of chronic pain can contribute to the severity of a patient’s depression. There is a connection between physical pain and mood. That is why, in some cases, psychotherapy and positive lifestyle changes can improve the severity of depression as well as reduce pain levels.