Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Pain management health centre

Select a topic to explore more.
Select An Article

Central pain syndrome

Central pain syndrome is a neurological condition caused by damage to the central nervous system.

Central pain syndrome is also called thalamic pain syndrome, Dejerine-Roussy syndrome, posterior thalamic syndrome or the central post- stroke syndrome.

The central nervous system includes the brain, brain stem and spinal cord.

The disorder occurs in people who have - or who have experienced - strokes, multiple sclerosis, limb amputations, brain injuries, or spinal cord injuries. Central pain syndrome may develop months or years after injury or damage to the CNS.

What are the symptoms of central pain syndrome?

Central pain syndrome is characterised by a mixture of pain sensations, the most prominent being a constant burning sensation. The steady burning sensation is sometimes increased by light touch. Pain also increases if the temperature changes, most often if it gets colder. A loss of sensation can occur in affected areas. This loss of sensation is most prominent on distant parts of the body such as the hands and feet. There may be brief, intolerable bursts of sharp pain on occasion.

How is central pain syndrome treated?

Pain medicines may provide some degree of relief for those affected by central pain syndrome. Antidepressants and anticonvulsants are often very helpful in treating central pain syndrome. Narcotic drugs, sometimes given via a pump, may be recommended, as may be neurosurgery such as deep brain stimulation. It’s also important to keep stress levels under control. Psychotherapy can play a beneficial role in learning to manage the pain.

Next Article:

WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on December 23, 2015

Mind, body & soul newsletter

Looking after your health and wellbeing.
Sign Up

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

rash on skin
Soothe skin and prevent flare-ups
woman blowing nose
Myths & facts about allergies
cold sore
How to cope with cold sores
bowl of soup
Small changes that lead to weight loss
man administering eyedrops
Taking on eye allergies
palm tree and beach
How to make it less stressful
woman exercising
Exercises for low back pain
bain illustration
Best foods for your brain
bucket with cleaning supplies in it
Cleaning for a healthy home
mother and child
Could your baby be allergic to milk?
pregnant woman eating healthy salad
Nutrition needs before pregnancy