Chronic pain and hormones

Some common symptoms of chronic pain include stress, frustration, fatigue, aches and pains, muscle spasm and poor sleep.

by Dr. Fred G. Arnold — 

The American Academy of Pain Management reports that an estimated 50 million Americans live with chronic pain caused by disease, disorder or accident. Did you know that many chronic pain conditions and stress-related symptoms could be related to hormonal imbalance?

Some common symptoms of chronic pain include stress, frustration, fatigue, aches and pains, muscle spasm and poor sleep.

Hormone imbalances that may be related to chronic pain include the following:

• Vitamin D levels — Low vitamin D levels increase inflammation and pain.

• Cortisol levels — Cortisol, produced by the adrenal glands, is lowered by chronic pain and stress. Low levels affect the production of hormones and the ability to get adequate restorative sleep.

• Estrogen/progesterone — An imbalance between estrogen and progesterone can increase pain and inflammation.

• Testosterone levels — As we age, testosterone levels drop and low testosterone increases joint pain and muscle aches.

• Thyroid levels — The thyroid hormone modulates muscle and nerve action. Muscle and joint pain can be related to low thyroid (hypothyroid).

• DHEA — This is called the anti-aging hormone; replacement of DHEA can decrease joint soreness.

If you are suffering from chronic pain and your treatment efforts have not been successful in alleviating your painful condition, a hormone evaluation that tests the above hormones should be considered.

Once any hormone imbalances are identified, an individual treatment plan can be developed to correct them. Depending upon your age and type of health insurance plan, some or all of these tests may be covered.


Brimhall, John, Total Hormone Balancing Program, Labrix Clinical Services, Advanced 3-Day Homecoming Seminar, Nutri-West 4-Life, Phoenix, 2011.

Smith, Pamela Wartian, M.D., MPH, HRT: The Answers, A Concise Guide for Solving the Hormone Replacement Therapy Puzzle, Healthy Living Books, Inc., Traverse City, MI, 2003.


Fred G. Arnold, D.C., N.M.D., specializes in prolotherapy/pain rehabilitation services. He is a Diplomate of the American Academy Health Care Providers and one of the few physicians in the nation with both naturopathic and chiropractic degrees. 602-292-2978, or

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 31, Number 5, October/November 2012.

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