Why Am I In Pain?

Why Am I In Pain? Central City Health Professional Perth CBD

Why Am I In Pain?

September is pain awareness month and below is just the tip of the vast amount of pain research out there.

Why Am I In Pain? Central City Health Professional Perth CBD

To understand why you’re in pain, you must first understand what pain is. My guess is that most people think pain is caused by tissue damage or injury, and it certainly can be. However, according to the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), pain is defined as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage.

Let’s focus on the word “potential”. Not all pain is actually a result of tissue damage, but rather a warning system to alert us that if we continue to perform this behaviour, something could become injured. Pain is a learning opportunity; like how we learn not to touch a hot stove. In that way, pain can be helpful. In fact, people who don’t have the ability to experience pain don’t actually live that long because they never learn which potentially risky behaviours to avoid. (There’s your silver lining for the next time you’re in pain.)

When people experience pain for longer than 3 months, then we categorize this as persistent pain. As a general rule, if tissue damage had occurred, then it takes about 6-8 weeks for the injury to heal. Persistent pain happens when the pain exceeds the time of healing.

Persistent pain can happen because pain is multifactorial. If you look back at the definition of pain, we describe it also as an emotional experience. This means factors like stress, depression, anxiety, beliefs about pain and certain movements or positions, etc., can also contribute to the pain timeline. And because the body is adaptable, the more we experience pain, the easier the nerves that transport those signals are triggered. This is called sensitization. Basically, you get really good at feeling pain.

However, there are some key messages we know about the body that is worth remembering, especially those with persistent pain:

  • No matter how long you’ve had pain for, or what kind of injuries you’ve acquired in the past, your body is just as strong and adaptable as the next person. That means, if you start to train your body to de-sensitize, it will adapt.
  • Your body can also withstand more than you give it credit for. Daily activities that you avoid, because they’re painful, are not likely to be causing damage, but rather the pain response is more likely a sensitive alarm system going off.

Here to Help on your Road to Recovery.

Central City Health Professionals are there to help you identify when there’s an actual injury that needs healing, helps calm down sensitive pain systems, and build up your ability to engage in the activities most meaningful to you.

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