Chronic Pain

Relief from Suffering, Your Pathway Back to Living

For individuals seeking outpatient treatment for Chronic Pain, Awakenings provides comprehensive, individualized treatment for men and women who suffer from complex, chronic pain syndromes including neck and back disorders, oro-facial pain, arthritis, headaches, opiate hyperalgesia, central nervous system sensitivity, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, fibromyalgia and other musculoskeletal and rheumatic conditions. Our integrative treatment approach combines the best of neuroscience and complementary therapies to help each person move toward recovery and resiliency.

People in pain frequently struggle with additional problems such as depression, anxiety or substance abuse. Awakening’s internationally recognized, expert staff of professionals uses an interdisciplinary team approach. We customize both conventional and complementary, evidence-based treatments to support each individual’s unique capacity for wellness and flourishing.

Individuals struggling with chronic pain often do not get the proper treatment needed to help alleviate the pain they are experiencing. This results in consequences that can be detrimental to overall quality of life. The emotional toll that chronic pain can take on a person can make the pain even worse and reduce the body’s production of natural painkillers. Long-standing chronic pain also suppresses the immune system, making an sufferers more susceptible to developing autoimmune illnesses.

Additional problems that are associated with chronic pain can include fatigue, sleeplessness, and loss of the enjoyment from life activities because of the need to rest. Other chronic pain sufferers may experience changes in mood, feelings of hopelessness, fear, depression, irritability, stress and intense anxiety or even panic.

Our clinical team is extremely good at reducing pain levels and you will work on physical, mental, and spiritual components to achieve pain relief, learn techniques to manage the pain long term, and to return to performing many of the tasks that you haven’t been able to do or enjoy for years.

Rather than focusing solely on physical tissue damage or psychological effects of pain, you will receive treatment that balances each aspect of your health. And you’ll take home a comprehensive set of new skills, insights, and resources to sustain the journey of recovery that begins here.

Effective help and resolution from the symptoms and origins of Chronic Pain is available. At Awakenings you can heal from the debilitating pain and the patterns you may find repeating in your daily life, emotional experiences and all aspects of day to day living.


Fibromyalgia is a disorder typically characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.

Symptoms often begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress. In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single identifiable, triggering event.

Women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than are men. Many people who have fibromyalgia also have tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression.

While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, a variety of medications, self care activities and behaviors can help control symptoms. Exercise, relaxation and stress-reduction measures also may help.

Symptoms of fibromyalgia include:

  • Widespread, diffuse pain – The pain associated with fibromyalgia often is described as a constant dull ache that has lasted for at least three months. To be considered widespread, the pain must occur on both sides of your body and above and below your waist.
  • Fatigue – People with fibromyalgia often awaken tired, even though they report sleeping for extended periods of time. Sleep is often troubled by pain, and many patients with fibromyalgia have other sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome and sleep apnea.
  • Cognitive difficulties – A symptom commonly referred to as "fibro fog" impairs the ability to focus, pay attention and concentrate on mental tasks.

Fibromyalgia often co-exists with other painful conditions, such as:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Migraine and other types of headaches
  • Interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome
  • Temporomandibular joint disorders

The neuroscientific treatments provided at Awakenings significantly decrease the pain and discomfort that accompany fibromyalgia. In addition, many of the co-existing conditions related to fibromyalgia are successfully treated at Awakenings with intensive individual and group psychotherapies, holistic medication management, movement therapies, and an anti-inflammatory nutritional therapies.

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Type 1 & Type 2

Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a form of chronic pain that usually affects an arm or a leg. CRPS typically develops after an injury, a surgery, a stroke or a heart attack. The pain is out of proportion to the severity of the initial injury.

Complex regional pain syndrome is uncommon, and its cause isn't clearly understood. Treatment is most effective when started early. In such cases, improvement and even remission are possible.

Signs and symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome include:

  • Continuous burning or throbbing pain, usually in an arm, leg, hand or foot
  • Sensitivity to touch and/or cold
  • Swelling of the painful area
  • Changes in skin temperature — alternating between sweaty and cold
  • Changes in skin color, ranging from white and mottled to red or blue
  • Changes in skin texture, which may become tender, thin or shiny in the affected area
  • Changes in hair and nail growth
  • Joint stiffness, swelling and damage
  • Muscle spasms, tremors, weakness and muscular loss (atrophy)
  • Decreased ability to move the affected body part

Symptoms may change over time and vary from person to person. Pain, swelling, redness, noticeable changes in temperature and hypersensitivity (particularly to cold and touch) usually occur first.

Over time, the affected limb can become significantly cold and pale. It may undergo skin and nail changes as well as muscle spasms and tightening. Once these changes occur, the condition is challenging to reverse.

Complex regional pain syndrome may spread from its original source to elsewhere in your body, such as the opposite limb. This can be confusing and frightening to the patient and his or her loved ones.

In some people, signs and symptoms of complex regional pain syndrome go away on their own. In others, signs and symptoms may persist for months to years. Treatment is likely to be most effective when started early in the course of the illness.


The cause of complex regional pain syndrome isn't entirely understood. It's thought to be caused by an injury to or an abnormality of the peripheral and central nervous systems. CRPS typically occurs as a result of a trauma or an injury, although often patients with CRPS report no report of a specific injury.

Complex regional pain syndrome occurs in two types, with similar signs and symptoms, but different causes:

Type 1

Also known as reflex sympathetic dystrophy syndrome (RSD), this type occurs after an illness or injury that didn't directly damage the nerves in your affected limb. About 90 percent of people with complex regional pain syndrome have type 1.

Type 2

Once referred to as causalgia, this type has similar symptoms to type 1. But type 2 complex regional pain syndrome follows a distinct, specific nerve injury.

Many cases of complex regional pain syndrome occur after a forceful trauma to an arm or a leg. This can include a crushing injury, fracture or amputation.

Other major and minor traumas — such as surgery, infections and even sprained ankles — can also lead to complex regional pain syndrome.

It's not well-understood why these injuries can trigger complex regional pain syndrome. Of course, not everyone who has such an injury will go on to develop complex regional pain syndrome. It might be due to a dysfunctional interaction between an individual’s central and peripheral nervous systems and inappropriate inflammatory responses.


If complex regional pain syndrome isn't diagnosed and treated early, the disease may progress to more-disabling signs and symptoms. These may include:

  • Tissue wasting (atrophy). Skin, bones and muscles may begin to deteriorate and weaken if a patient avoids or has difficulty moving an arm or a leg because of pain or stiffness.
  • Muscle tightening (contracture). One may also experience tightening of muscles. This may lead to a condition in which your hand and fingers or your foot and toes contract into a fixed position, causing intense discomfort.

Successful, Sustainable Treatment for CRPS

Despite the alarming nature of the debilitating symptoms of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, effective treatment is possible. Calming the peripheral and central nervous system of an afflicted individual, while strengthening and increasing the flexibility of muscles, tendons and ligaments that may have atrophied, is the holistic treatment relief provided at Awakenings. A delicious anti-inflammatory meal plan is also taught to each client, in the context of each individual’s personal nutritional preferences.

Call Awakenings today – stop the progression of pain and disability before it goes any further: