Tame the Beast

National Pain Week

Pain is an unpleasant experience for most of us and everyone experiences pain differently. Pain is a complex alarm system that alerts us when our body needs protection.

Pain is complex. It can affected not only by tissue damage but how we perceive it, the situation and the circumstances surrounding it and past experiences. More pain does not necessarily indicate more tissue damage.

Think about a paper cut, we all have probably had one and know how sore it can be, yet the tissue damage to the finger is small.

There are two types of pain:

Acute Pain

Acute pain is short term pain when damage occurs to the bodies tissues. As the body health the pain goes away.

Chronic pain

Chronic pain results when pain persists for more than 3 months beyond the normal healing time. One in 4 of us experience chronic or persistent pain. Persistent pain doesn’t indicate that there is ongoing tissue damage in the body but is like the alarm system has been left on and the volume gets louder. It has less to do with injury and more about what is happening in the nervous system. We can then continue to feel pain without ongoing tissue damage as the nervous system becomes sensitive and overprotective.

Understanding pain is an important step in recovery of chronic pain. Time, persistence and support along with appropriate medication, pacing and graded activity and exercise programs, diet, relaxation, thinking strategies and goal setting can all assist to turn down the volume of your alarm system and pain and get back to the things you enjoy doing.

For more information head to tamethebeast.org and nationalpainweek.org.au