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Papers of the Week

2019 Oct 25

Scand J Pain



Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and chronic pain conditions – vitally protective systems gone wrong.



Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and chronic pain syndromes represent major health problems in society. These conditions are disabling and strongly associated with low quality of life. Even though CFS and chronic pain are separate conditions, they have strikingly much in common. Both pain and fatigue are important sensations with protective value in an acute situation. It can be life-threatening not to be aware of them. However, as these symptoms become chronic, their protective roles decrease and instead they become health problems. Our understanding of the perception of pain and fatigue has shifted through the years, from a dualistic biomedical point of view to a holistic biopsychosocial understanding. This combined with the increasing evidence of how our brain works in a predictive/anticipatory manner, gives a deeper understanding of why treatments like cognitive behavior therapies and stress relief therapies can help these patients recover to better health.