Chronic Pain That Has No Name

ABC News' Dr. Jen Ashton explains common misconceptions of undiagnosed chronic pain.
4:32 | 09/16/15

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Transcript for Chronic Pain That Has No Name
Millns of pele are eimated to sufr from opioid-iuced conipation, oic, used by E opioidthey use anag Mc pan. C is a dferent Te of constipaon. Opioids ock painignals, buthey canlso blocactivity in T bowel. I'm rely struging to fd relief. Rey to Pai a diffent pure? S! Talk to our doutoabt oi anesd prontimeip tatopnt s.tion can do tt! It was a diagnosis 18-year-old sadat never saw coming after falling down and injuring his knee twice. I fell down an escalator and subsequently sore my meniscus. Reporter: But the pain was beyond the injury. The pain got to a point where I actually couldn't leave my house. Reporter: After visiting several doctors and hospitals, no one could figure out the root of his pain. A lot of the time doctors will say that pain is in your head. Reporter: Dr. Houman Danesh diagnosed him with complex regional pain syndrome, crps. Essentially what it is is an overreaction to an injury and what happens, your bodying abouts oversensitized to pain so a light touch can make you scream in pain. Reporter: It's a difficult disorder to diagnose and although rare, crps is more common than first thought. The Numbers are approximately 26 per every 100,000 people but just to put that in perspective rheumatoid arthritis is about 30 per 100,000. Reporter: And for him he slowly is getting better. I have a long way to go because I wake up with a level 9 pain and out of 10, of course. I'm determined to not let it affect 3450e. There are so many myths about chronic pain that often cause people to go undiagnosed. Dr. Jennifer Ashton is here to tackle three of these "Mission: Impossible"s we have. I was talking about my M. She was in chronic pain. She'd get tested and the doctor would go, well, you know, we tried everything and they would try to say, no, it's in your mind. Is that truth or myth? That is a huge myth, robin. We have to bust these open right now. Because that's the problem. People with chronic pain, they get made to feel like they're crazy and sometimes even by doctors which is the worst thing. We know that there is significant evidence that people who suffer chronic pain undergo structural functional molecular changes in the brain in terms of their anatomy, they have a reduction in the gray matter density which is the major part of our brain, metabolic changes in the brain and guess what, these things all disrupt signal processing in the brain so this is new meaning to it's all in your head. How about the meaning of putting a name to it. People want to say -- having chronic pain, is that a disease? Well, this is a loaded question. And actually we're going to label this one a truth because there is huge debate going on right now as we speak in the world of pain medicine about the fact that pain medicine that chronic disease is really a disease and if you look at the definition of disease, a disorder or a function that produces specific signs or symptoms whether this affects the bladder, interstisht cyst tight 'tis, vulvadinia, these people are suffering so, yes, it's considered a chronic disease in I've budget talking to you about this shoulder pain I've had for quite some time and sometimes a massage makes it feel a little better but that doesn't really mean it's not serious. That's right and people think if a massage helped you it's not real. That is a big myth and I'm going to to do that to me when I was a teenager. Let me tell you it instills a of fear in you. Great advice. Running around with you today. My little bug is here. You have a bed of nails over here too. Folk, sorry. That's coming up. Thank you, Mara. We want to hear from you. How do you find a baby-sitter for your kids? Send us your questions and tips on Facebook. We'll get your answers on. Ll get rig ohtnt THA baby proofing real soon. Now on to our series "Erase your pain" why we have that rack on there for the 100 million Americans suffering from chronic pain, almost half will go without relief. Often as a result of going undiagnosed. We're about to bust three common myths about pain. But first a look a htowd art can be to diagnose some disorders. That in in the morning. A lot of people are talking about the series. It is a problem with a lot of people so thank you, Jen. Such an important topic. Go online. Jen will be happy to answer any of your question, George.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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