Posttraumatic stress disorder and chronic pain

Carolina Palacio, Alicia Krikorian, Nora Saldarriaga, John Jairo Vargas

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    5 Scopus citations


    Chronic pain has been long recognized as a stressor that can precipitate anxiety symptoms. Research has recently focused on the prevalence and role of pain-related posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Rates of chronic pain among those diagnosed with PTSD are unexpectedly high, and it is still unknown why pain and PTSD symptoms coexist. Yet, different physiological, psychological, and behavioral mechanisms could explain the association between both disorders. PTSD is a disorder that requires the exposure to a traumatic event and is characterized by avoidance, re-experiencing, and increased physiological arousal. Psychological and neurobiological interacting factors are responsible for the occurrence and maintenance of PTSD and, thus, they should be considered when understanding the relationship between PTSD and chronic pain. In the present review, aspects related to PTSD diagnosis and detection are discussed in the context of chronic pain, as well as its risk factors and management.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)190-195
    Number of pages6
    JournalTechniques in Regional Anesthesia and Pain Management
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Oct 2012


    • Assessment
    • Chronic pain
    • Intervention
    • Posttraumatic stress disorder
    • Trauma


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