What Is Pain?

The International Association for the Study of Pain defines PAIN as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage. Pain is always subjective.”  The “subjectivity” of pain is one of the key challenges to the diagnosis treatment of pain, as pain manifests itself differently in each individual.  Perceptions and reactions to pain vary widely.  

Pain is complex and there isn’t one single treatment or health care professional that can alleviate the pain.  A team approach of multidisciplinary allopathic medicine and complementary alternative medicine is often used to tackle the challenges that pain persistent pain persents.  According to the American Academy of Pain Management, pain suffers may use “Western medicine, Chinese medicine, acupuncture, pharmaceuticals, chiropractic, nutrition, supplementation, body work, yoga and psychology” in addition to other therapies. 

Where Does Pain Come From?

Pain is triggered by the body’s nervous system.   Pain is the body’s way to tell you that something is wrong.   Pain can manifest in one area of the body (back pain, lower back pain, knee pain, joint pain, chest pain).  You may feel pain throughout your entire body when you are sick with the flu and your muscles ache.

The sensation of pain is critical to diagnosing a problem. Without pain, you could hurt yourself or or you not realize you need medical attention. Pain may go away after you seek medical help and receive treatment. If other instances, pain lingers for week or years.  Many times the cause of this lingering or chronic pain is unknown.