A pain in the…
April 19, 2020
People visit our chatswood clinic for advice about many issues but one main underlying symptom they report on is pain. The type of pain they describe differs from person to person and even from one visit to the next but for most of us, when we are in pain, we just want it gone. So, what exactly is pain?
The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) defines pain as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage.
Pain is not just a physical sensation. It is influenced by attitudes, beliefs, personality and social factors, and can affect emotional and mental wellbeing.
Although two people may have the same pain condition, their experience of living with pain can be vastly different—if you live with pain, you would already know this.
There are three main categories of pain: acute, chronic and cancer pain.
- Acute pain lasts for a short time and occurs following surgery or trauma or other condition. It acts as a warning to the body to seek help. Although it usually improves as the body heals, in some cases, it may not.
- Chronic pain lasts beyond the time expected for healing following surgery, trauma or other condition. It can also exist without a clear reason at all. Although chronic pain can be a symptom of other disease, it can also be a disease in its own right, characterised by changes within the central nervous system.
- Cancer pain can occur in patients with early stage and advanced disease, and in cancer survivors as a severe and debilitating side-effect of treatment. *
Pain arising from our musculoskeletal (muscles, bones & joints) system accounts for a large proportion of those suffering both acute and chronic pain. As osteopaths, although we don’t directly ‘treat’ pain, identifying the reasons a client is suffering is a major factor in coming up with an effective program. Ultimately the aim is to not only achieve a pain free state but more importantly to reduce the chance of future episodes. This is where good advice and education comes in.