Archive for August, 2016

What is Pain?

- August, 2016

The word pain has a lot of different meanings. One of the premises of Pain Neuroscience Education (PNE) is that the more a person knows about pain, the less they fear it. And, less fear of pain results in less brain/nervous system activation and thus, less pain.

The definition used by the World Health Organization is: “An unpleasant sensory or emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage.” An additional definition used in my Pain Neuroscience Training is: “Pain is a multiple system output activated by the brain based on perceived threat.”

Let me break this down a bit.
1.   “An unpleasant sensory experience.”
Duh. This is what we feel. However, it includes multiple types of sensations which can be burning, tingling, stabbing, throbbing, dull, achy, annoying, etc. This list can be extensive. (watch for my next blog-post 🙂 )

2.   “An unpleasant emotional experience.”
This is where the pain experience gets interesting. (or some other expletive of your choosing). Pain can cause an emotional response and emotions can cause an exaccerbated pain response.

a. On-going pain can contribute to depression. Not knowing how to fix or control the pain can cause anxiety. Not knowing how to (more…)