When pain doesn’t go away as expected, it can be stressful and debilitating. Knowing that pain is a complex multi-dimensional experience and that it can be overcome gives hope.
Most people suffer from pain in their lifetime. Most injuries heal and pain disappears. Pain after an operation usually goes away as the body recovers. We expect not to be in pain. Sometimes though, pain doesn’t go away despite the injury healing or the surgical procedure going well and so it becomes persistent or chronic. Some people experience long term pain for no obvious reason. In fact, 20% of adults have persistent pain. How can this be when medicine and science are so good? This article attempts to explain the multidimensional complexity of musculoskeletal pain and offers some self-care solutions to help overcome it.
Pain, whether it be acute or chronic, is a mind-body, unpleasant sensory and emotional experience that is unique to everyone. It can affect how you think, feel, what you do and can take over your life. It can be overwhelming, threatening, frightening, stressful, uncomfortable to some people in some situations but it can also feel good, exciting, reassuring, helpful and protective to others. The way that pain is processed depends on the context in which it is experienced. Pain is an individual experience and is interpreted differently in each of us. It can, very easily, be misunderstood which is why in so many of us, pain does not always go away.
Most of us assumes that when pain which is experienced in an area of our body there is a problem with the body’s tissues in that area and as soon as the problem is fixed or healed, the pain will resolve. In most instances this happens.
Rabey & Maloney.