Traditionally, we have thought there are two kinds of pain - acute pain and chronic or persistent pain.
ACUTE - the pain that happens with tissue damage - like after an operation or injury
PERSISTENT or CHRONIC - when pain carries on even when everything has healed up - often this has been defined as pain that carries on for more than three months.
Now we know that persistent pain is due to changes in the way that the nervous system works …. and that these changes can happen really quickly - within hours rather than months!
We often think about suffering and how horrible pain is.
This is because of the way the nervous system is "wired". Some connections go to the parts of the brain that tell you where the pain is. Lots of connections also go to brain areas which are to do with how we FEEL .... Afraid, miserable, anxious, tense ….. or relaxed, happy energised, content and hopeful.
The big advance in pain science has been realising that there are lots of nerves sending messages back down to your body - it's not just one way traffic, We used to think that pain nerves worked like a doorbell - press the button and you get a pain "ding-dong" going off in your brain!
NOW we know that thoughts and feelings can have a big effect on how much pain you experience.
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.