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Chronic Pain: Harnessing the Power of Knowledge

publication date: Dec 2, 2017
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by Natalie Cook P.T

     Pain, according to the International Association for the Study of Pain is “an unpleasant sensory or emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage” [1] Simply stated – pain is an entirely subjective experience, and can no longer be seen as merely a response to tissue damage. Despite attempts to capture this experience of pain in a measurable, objective way – the subjective experience of pain remains the most relevant factor.

     Chronic pain is pain that continues for longer than the expected healing time – usually more than 3 months, and in many who seek help, for many years. However, it’s not only the persistent and ongoing nature of it that makes chronic pain emotionally and physically draining. It’s the unpredictability of it, the worsening and spreading of it, the pain in response to things that “shouldn’t” hurt. It’s the manifestation of the “dark side of bioplasticity” (Moseley and Butler) [2].

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