Understanding the reality and the neuroscience of chronic pain is important for all, patients, family, carers and health professionals.
Pain is complex and subjective - everyone will experience pain differently, even when they have similar injuries, such as a sprained ankle. This is because how we perceive pain is a complex interaction between mind and body. This interaction involves the nervous system and other factors, such as genetics, culture, thoughts, emotions, previous pain experiences, stress, and what was happening in our lives when the pain started.
Because pain is complex, there is no 'one-size-fits-all' way of treating it. This can be very frustrating and distressing when you're in pain. However, to be successful pain managers, we may have to use a combination of things such as medications, diet, relaxation, thinking strategies, and more. The good news is that, over time and with support from others, it is possible to 'turn down the volume' of your pain, and enjoy life.
Robert Caudle, Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Neuroscience Division, at the University of Florida, last week in his article on theconversation.com have been discussing “What chronic pain is and why is it hard to treat?”, exploring the multifaceted nature of pain.
By Nagib Ahmed