Central Pain Syndrome

Central pain syndrome is a neurological condition where you experience pain in a particular part of your body, but is not related to any injury to that part. It occurs as a result of damage to your brain, brainstem or spinal cord, brought about by trauma, stroke, seizures, infection or a tumour. The syndrome can show immediately, or after months or even years.

The pain can be of different types: aching, burning, numbing or sharp shooting pain. It is usually constant and increases with touch, temperature (cold), stress and change in emotions. You may experience pain in a restricted region or a larger area of the body. The ends of the hands and feet are common areas of complaint. Diagnosis of central pain syndrome is difficult as it may be unrelated to injury or trauma. Your doctor will perform a thorough medical history review and physical examination to identify and diagnose central pain syndrome.

Your doctor may prescribe pain, muscle relaxing, antiepileptic and antidepressant medications to treat symptoms of central pain syndrome. Surgery involving deep brain stimulation may be recommended if conservative treatments fail to relieve symptoms.

  • Westmead Private Hospital
  • Neuro Surgical Society
  • the University of Sydney