Everybody experiences pain, but what exactly is pain and how do we measure it? Developing a common scale to identify levels of pain is difficult considering that everyone has a slightly different physical response to pain stimuli. Scientists define pain as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage.”1However, this may be outdated thinking.

According to Chiropractic Association of Canada, here are a few things you need to know:

  1. Scientists no longer think of pain as an actual measure of tissue damage.2 Consider deep tissue damage such as a bullet wound, which is often painless, when compared to a superficial cut on the skin, which can be unreasonably painful. Why does this happen? With superficial injuries, the nerve endings are sending loud signals to the brain that something is wrong, whereas with deep injuries these nerve signals can be paralyzed or severed.2
  2. Pain is so much more than just a sensation or physical manifestation. It is a subjective experience. For instance, on a scale of 0–10 (0 being no pain, 10 being unbearable pain), a paper cut might be rated as 2 for one person and 5 for another. Both individuals are in pain, but their experience is different.
  3. Psychology plays a part in how the body interprets pain. What about people who are in pain, but have no actual tissue damage? This usually stems from the psychological interpretation of pain signals.3Based on the subjective recollection alone, it is impossible to distinguish psychological pain from pain due to tissue damage. Even though we most often correlate pain with injury, there are many causes of pain that do not stem from actual tissue damage or pain that persists once the tissue has healed. This does not mean that the pain is not real, rather, it may imply that the pain pathway is continuously being activated in the absence of any damage.

The complexity of pain makes it difficult to diagnose and treat. Chiropractors are trained in managing pain. For more information visit your local chiropractor.

 

References:

https://www.chiropractic.ca

IASP Taxonomy. International Association of the Study of Pain. 2012. Available at https://www.iasp-pain.org/Taxonomy?navItemNumber=576#Pain. Accessed October 20, 2017.

Livingston WK. What is pain? Scientific American. 1953;188(3):59-67.Gatchel RJ, Peng YB, Peters ML, Fuchs PN, Turk DC. The biopsychosocial approach to chronic pain: scientific advances and future directions. Psychological Bulletin. 2007;133(4):581.

Floating Review Template1
Royal York Chiropractic and Massage Therapy (416) 233-5413
4.9 6
Dundas Street West Toronto Ontario M8X 1Y3
  • I have been suffering from neck pain and headaches for the longest time. visited Dr.peter earlier this month and I can already see improvements and decreased frequency of headaches. super friendly and highly recommended!
  • Excellent care and treatment, Dr. Marco always cured what ails me.
  • I saw Doctor Marco for a sharp pain between my shoulder blades. The pain would always develop 30-45 minutes into my daily 90 minute walks. The pain was so severe I would need to shorten my walks in an attempt to avoid the pain. After only a few visits with Doctor Marco I not... Read More
  • Very professional and knowledgeable Love this place
  • Today was my first visit to this clinic. I saw Dr. Marco and was very pleased with my experience. The doctor was was professional, personable and knowledgeable. He took his time in explaining everything, answering any questions I had and told me step by step what he was doin... Read More