Pain is a specifically designed system designed to protect us from actual or perceived danger or body damage. Without it, we would not remove our hand from a hot plate, or recognise quickly that our leg is not supposed to stretch that far. However, what happens when pain becomes a continuous message that appears to no longer be related to actual tissue damage or threat? If all imaging and healing indicate that physically, everything appears all ok?
Chronic pain is described as “pain persisting for more than 3 months or beyond the expected time of tissue healing” . All pain caused by muscle damage and inflammation can progress to chronic pain if not timely managed . Chronic pain appears to cause mixed messages between movement and sensory feedback. Musculoskeletal deconditioning, fear of movement, general life stressors and impaired movements are likely to cause this mismatch and normal sensation will be interpreted as ‘warning signals’ or pain . As pain continues for longer periods, a greater degree of sensory changes and abnormalities occur within the pain system, both in the brain and in the tissues . However, none of these changes can be currently seen by any imaging. Chronic pain can lead to hyper-sensitivity or central sensitisation of the pain interpretation system  and these changes are proposed to occur as a consequence of associated learning memory from regular pain signals .Read More