Pain: More Than Just A Feeling
Pain is an unpleasant physical and emotional experience; it is a warning signal produced by the brain, telling us to take note of something. However, contrary to popular belief, pain does not necessarily indicate that there is an injury. A fire alarm can be triggered due to a fire drill or a technical fault in the system instead of an actual fire. Similarly, pain can occur in many situations, even in the absence of tissue damage.
The 2 types of Pain
There are two main types of pain: acute pain and chronic pain. Acute pain usually has a sudden onset and is commonly caused by tissue damage. It typically lasts less than six months and ceases once the underlying cause is dealt with. Patients with acute pain are generally encouraged to stay physically active, and may resume to their normal activity levels once their affected tissues have healed.
Chronic pain, on the other hand, is defined as pain that persists for at least 3 to 6 months, beyond the normal duration of healing or even after the tissue has healed. In addition, some may be plagued by chronic pain with no apparent cause, though patients often feel like there must be something wrong because of the pain.