Persistant or Ongoing Pain
The International Association for the Study of Pain describes pain as “[a]n unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage.”
Pain, as with all perceptions or experiences, involves the whole person. Sensory information (touch, taste, smell, sound, light, etc.) is gathered by specialized receptors all over the body and sent to the brain. Refinement of this information first occurs at the level of the spinal cord before going to the brain. This is where things get very interesting. We know that the brain does some really groovy things with this information, including: comparing information to past experiences, analyzing information relative to the environment, and predicting what this information means for you at that moment. In short, and oversimplified: if the person (body brain, environment, past and present) decides that you are in real or potential threat of damage, you will experience pain. Tissue damage alone is not necessary or sufficient for you to feel pain. Stated differently, if you feel pain it doesn't necessarily mean you have tissue damage.
Persistent or ongoing pain is described as pain that persists past healing timelines (greater than three months). It generally affects one in five individuals and can range from nagging to severe. No one can tell you that you do or don't have pain, since it is your experience rather than an objective, observable fact.
Many treatment options are available for persistent pain. At Adventure Physiotherapy, we offer the following scientifically supported treatment strategies: exercise, education, graded motor imagery, manual therapy, and mindfulness. Click on the video below to learn more about pain. And click here to download a free pain workbook from one of our friend Greg Lehman in Toronto.