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There's a lot of research on the factors that increase the risk of having more severe or persistent pain after an operation.

Many doctors, who aren't pain specialists, may not know about these - so you don't get told what to do about them.

Some of the most important risks are to do with the way you think and feel about things. Some doctors and patients might think that this means that pain is due to psychological problem - a low pain threshold - or just being a wuss!

In fact most people have around about the same pain threshold - except for those with a rare genetic insensitivity to pain ….. and that's not as good to have as you'd expect! 

To find out more about how pain works in your nervous system, watch this short video.

So what are the risks?

Having persistent pain before the operation.

Being on strong painkillers - opioids.

Being younger or  female.


Poor nutrition and lack of exercise.

Being anxious or depressed.

Catastrophising - find out more about this and why it's really important.

The type of operation you're having.

What sort of anaesthetic you have.

What sort of painkillers you get.

Not getting moving soon after your operation.

While we believe that the advice on this website is accurate and based on expert medical opinion you should always consult your healthcare professional on any matter related to your health and well being. He or she knows your circumstances best and therefore the appropriate action to take on your behalf.

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