Chronic pain is a huge issue affecting 1 in 5 Australian’s. It is defined as pain persisting for more than 3-6 months and it is different to acute pain in several ways, most importantly, the source of the pain is usually not the tissue where you feel pain, but may actually be sensitisation in the central nervous system (the spinal cord and brain). Identifying and understanding more about the pain mechanisms can be very empowering for patients with chronic pain, For example, chronic pain is not usually associated with specific harm to tissues, and this can help to allay peoples fear and anxiety associated with pain and it’s consequences.
So in essence, in chronic pain, it is important to consider and manage not only physical tissue based aspects of pain but also potential cognitive (e.g. thoughts, beliefs, stress) and social (e.g. work and family issues) aspects that may influence pain
For a much much more interesting explanation of the above have a look at this you tube link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wk5k5_y-zJY
(PS, thanks for my Olympic Park Sports Med colleague who sent it to me)
Knowledge really is power when it comes to chronic pain !