What is Pain

What is Pain?

Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience in which no two people feel pain the same way, even if the root cause of their pain is similar. Pain is a very personal experience and for some people can can feel mild while for others severe. Examples of pain we see in our clinic include pricking, tingling, stinging, burning, throbbing, shooting, aching, electric sensations, and tooth-like aches.

Pain is our Body’s alarm system telling us “something is not working as it should” and while it is, not a pleasant feeling just like your house or car alarm it’s there for a reason so just like your house or car alarm you should take action to understand what’s happening.

Pain that continues for longer than three months is usually called chronic pain and can affect our mood, relationships, movement, and all aspects of our daily lives. In some cases, pain can slowly stop us from doing the things that bring us joy or doing simple things such as putting socks on!

Types of Pain?

  1. Acute pain: Acute pain usually starts suddenly and usually ends when its cause is treated or healed. Acute pain is usually sharp because it tends to act as a warning signal about a threat to the body from an injury, severe restriction, severe compensation, disease, overuse, or other environmental stress.
  2. Episodic pain: Episodic pain happens from time to time in intermittent intervals. Painful periods and chronic migraine are examples of episodic pain. It can happen out of nowhere or may be caused by known or unknown triggers.
  3. Chronic pain: Chronic pain lasts for longer than three months and in some cases, acute pain might persist and become chronic pain. In other cases, chronic pain happens for no known reason. People might experience one or more of the types of pain at the same time.

Why am I in Pain ?

With so much information out there on sources of pain we decided to summarize these as follows:

Structures/Physical – This usually means body systems such as tissue, organs, bones, nerves, nervous system etc…in which there is damage or dysfunction. A patient may have knee pain and an X-ray shows wear and tear of the knee joint. Another patient may have knee pain with no wear and tear of the knee joint however miss-alignment/compensation in body structures is causing the knee pain.

Chemical – What we are putting into or missing from our diet as well as environments we are exposed to. High levels of inflammation in our body can also lead to aches and pains which can eventually affect mobility. Some strong pain killers can affect how our digestive system functions so it’s important you understand their side effects and review these regularly with your healthcare provider (usually your GP).

Emotions – We are “emotional” beings and some emotions we experience/struggle to overcome/not dealt with, can have a negative impact on our health and well-being and how we experience different types of pain.

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