Persisten Pain – What Does It Mean For Me?

This video captures the shift in our pain beliefs as pain scientists research more about pain, and in particular, persistent (chronic) pain. Professor Lorimer Moseley is a renowned clinical scientist who investigates pain in humans. One of the new beliefs about pain is that "pain is not an accurate measure of tissue health".  

What does pain mean? How does it work?

  Definition of pain: According to the IASP (International Association for the Study of Pain), pain is "an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage"   There are different types of pain: Acute pain
  • occurs after trauma/surgery/injury
  • lasts for a short time
  • improves as body heals (although it may not in some cases, which takes us to the the next type of pain)
  Chronic pain
  • lasts beyond the expected healing time following tissue damage
  • may exist without a specific reason
  • may be characterised by changes within the central nervous system (a very complex one!)
   

So... what do you mean by "changes" within the very complex (nervous) system?

There are neurones that respond to stimuli in your body's tissues. These "stimuli" may be:
  • mechanical
  • chemical
  • thermal
Nociception occurs when these neurones are activated, they send signals to your spinal cord (and may eventually reach your brain). Nociception, however, is not the same as pain. Your brain is a very 'smart' organ which protects you from potentially harmful stimuli, and it decides whether the stimulus is harmful based on the information that's feeding through, or ones that are already stored. When your brain thinks that protection is required, you will then perceive the harmful stimuli as pain, which leads to your actioning on it.    

Watch the video below to understand more about pain

 
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