Chronic Pain Syndrome

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Houston Methodist’s board-certified pain experts offer the full range of treatment options for chronic pain syndrome — from injections to implantable pain devices.

Pain experts on the Houston Methodist neurology team combine decades of experience with leading-edge research to offer personalized care for chronic pain syndrome. Our board-certified specialists have advanced training in pain evaluation, diagnosis and symptom management. 

Chronic pain symptoms can infiltrate every area of your life. While there currently is no cure for this complex condition, personalized treatment can significantly reduce its impact on daily activities and restore a higher quality of life. 

Diagnosing & Treating Chronic Pain Syndrome

How is chronic pain syndrome diagnosed?

Diagnosing the cause of your pain starts with a conversation about your symptoms and medical history. Our specialists will conduct a physical exam and may recommend tests such as imaging, bodily fluid evaluation and assessments of your nervous system, muscles, joints and bones to find or rule out underlying causes for pain. 

Chronic pain syndrome often affects older adults, causing symptoms such as: 


  • Headache 
  • Lower back pain 
  • Cancer-related pain 
  • Arthritis or joint pain 
  • Nerve pain  
  • Psychogenic pain resulting from prolonged stress 


Based on your unique needs, we will design a treatment plan to address the root cause of your symptoms and improve your daily function. 

What treatments are available?

At Houston Methodist, treatment plans are designed around you. Effective treatment often includes a combination of medication and noninvasive pain management therapies, such as:  


  • Acupuncture or massage therapy 
  • Desensitization therapy, a technique that involves slowly dulling your skin’s pain response using harmless everyday items, like a soft washcloth 
  • Heat or ice therapy 
  • Hypnosis  
  • Physical therapy 


Medications may also be recommended to manage the symptoms of chronic pain syndrome, including:


  • Over-the-counter pain relievers  
  • Opioid pain medications   
  • Anesthetics  
  • Corticosteroids (cortisone, prednisone)  
  • Muscle relaxers 
  • Antidepressants  
  • Anticonvulsants  
  • Bisphosphonates  


Patients who need more intensive pain relief may benefit from:  


  • Epidural steroid injections into the spine 
  • Infusion therapy  
  • Nerve blocks  
  • Botox® (botulinum toxin) injections to relax the muscles  
  • Baclofen pump therapy, an implanted pump that delivers muscle-relaxing medication  
  • Spinal or peripheral nerve stimulators, which are surgically implanted under the skin and deliver mild impulses to nerves responsible for pain 

What if I need advanced care or a second opinion?

Whether you need a precise diagnosis or a second opinion, we can help. Our specialists can pinpoint the cause of your symptoms and design a personalized treatment plan to restore your quality of life.

Understanding Chronic Pain

Struggling with chronic pain? Explore suggestions for dealing with debilitating symptoms. 

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