Can Emotional Trauma Cause Physical Pain?

Can Emotional Trauma Cause Physical Pain?

It has been said that our past traumas can no longer hurt us physically and all we have left are the memories of these traumatic events. However, processing these traumatic experiences is different for every person and in some cases, they can develop cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD.) Determining what kind of effects this emotional trauma has on a person and whether it can cause physical pain can prove challenging. But, can emotional trauma cause physical pain?

Common Symptoms of PTSD

Before you can begin personalized PTSD treatment, you need to know how to identify the condition. The symptoms can vary from person to person and present themselves differently, but there are still some common signs that you can keep an eye out for, including:
  • Re-experiencing traumatic events through nightmares or flashbacks
  • Avoiding anything related to the past trauma
  • Difficulty sleeping, calming down, concentrating, or relaxing throughout the day
  • Significant mood swings
People struggling with PTSD go out of their way to avoid troubling situations that may trigger a trauma response. They actively distance themselves from any person, place, or thing that can remind them of that particular event. Additionally, they can begin developing feelings of numbness, emotional detachment, anxiety, and hypervigilance resulting from their condition.

How PTSD Can Affect Your Physical Health

Like other mental health conditions, PTSD can co-occur with other physical and mental health concerns that can make an accurate diagnosis more challenging. Physical pain is often linked to PTSD, but since it’s a condition of the mind, many people may not connect these two seemingly disparate symptoms. If you’re suffering from physical pain associated with your PTSD but aren’t treating the root cause of it, your chances of becoming dependent on opioids and other prescription medications increase.

How PTSD and Physical Pain Are Linked

One of the most obvious links between PTSD and physical pain stems from the type of traumatic event you suffered. If the inciting incident left a physical mark or caused chronic pain, then it becomes intrinsically linked. As you work through processing your trauma, don’t forget to address this pain. PTSD can co-occur with other mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, substance, and more that trigger physical pain as well. 

PTSD and Chronic Pain

The combination of hypervigilance and anxiety caused by your PTSD can lead to difficulty relaxing and your muscles being in a persistent state of fight or flight. These tensed muscles can lead to chronic pain that can be difficult to treat if you or your doctor don’t make the connection.  When someone suffers from chronic pain caused by PTSD, having someone help them to connect the dots between the condition and the pain is instrumental in their recovery. You may start to treat the pain as a unique and unrelated injury, but if you aren’t actively focusing on the underlying causes, the issue will linger. Having someone on your side who knows how these two can be intrinsically linked can help ensure you receive the necessary personalized treatment program.

Let Silver Pines Treatment Center Help in Your Recovery

The road to physical and emotional recovery can be fraught with roadblocks, indecision, and misdiagnosis that can hinder your journey. Finding a dual diagnosis treatment in Mahanoy City, PA, can help you figure out how to process your trauma and treat every part of your condition. We have helped countless people work through their trauma and find a path toward their recovery.  If you or someone you love suffers from PTSD and chronic pain, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (866)-345-2147. Learn more about our admissions process and our treatment programs today. 


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