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Pain Versus Damage: What’s The Difference?

Pain Versus Damage: What’s The Difference?

The distinction between pain and damage can initially be difficult to make. Pain serves a warning sign that something could be wrong and is our body’s way of letting us know of potential injury. However, pain doesn’t always mean there is damage!

Pain acts to draw attention to a part of the body. It’s a pre-emptive measure – a finger held close to a candle flame will trigger feelings of pain before any burn damage occurs to the skin, prompting you to move the finger away from the heat.

Pain is an unpleasant experience that can affect your behaviour and emotions. The reverse is also true; your behavior and emotions can affect your pain.

Pain can provide benefit — it helps us avoid injury by causing us to alter movement, increasing our awareness of potential damage and it may prompt you to seek medical attention. However, pain can sometimes become dysregulated, chronic and difficult to manage effectively through rest or medication.

What is the difference between chronic and acute pain?

Chronic pain is a type of pain that spans longer than three months and typically lasts longer than the usual tissue healing time. Chronic pain is complex and impacts everyone differently. Ranging from mild to severe, it is typically experienced on most days.

Acute pain, on the other hand, typically presents as pain directly related to an injury. Acute pain can initially be quite intense, however it tends to reduce quite quickly.

Is it safe to exercise with pain?

The short answer is “yes.” Exercise is an important part of managing pain, and it can help you remain active, which can in turn reduce your overall risk of developing other health issues.

There are often two schools of thought when it comes to movement and pain; one camp is a firm believer in the benefits of movement despite pain; while the other waits for complete tissue healing and elimination of pain before commencing.

So, where do we sit? We’re firm believers that ‘motion is lotion’ and, exercising, especially under the guidance of an allied health professional, is an essential component of a persons treatment plan. Strengthening the areas around the injury, gently encouraging blood flow and, keeping generally active are ways to encourage your body to adjust its perception of the pain, calm down the nervous system and aid recovery and repair.

The experience of pain can be influenced by many things beyond physical damage or injury.

While it’s true that pain is a protective mechanism, it’s also important to understand that there are many factors that influence our perception of it. For example, if you’ve had an injury in the past and something feels similar — even if there isn’t any actual tissue damage — your body may associate the sensation with prior damage and cause you to feel more pain than is warranted by the situation at hand. Because of this, we can’t always trust our bodies when it comes to understanding what is causing our pain. Furthermore, some people seem to be more sensitive than others when it comes to perceiving stimuli such as pressure, heat or cold; this means that two people might react differently when exposed to similar amounts of pressure or temperature change.

The body can interpret pain signals in different ways depending on where they come from and what state the person experiencing them is in. In some cases, pain sensations are felt even though there’s no actual damage to the body part that feels them. Pain is not simply the result of damage; it is an experience that involves different parts of the body communicating with each other to make sense of what’s happening in your body.

Pain is a complex experience that’s influenced by many different factors. Understanding this can help you manage your pain better by reducing the physical, psychological and social factors that make it worse; as well as helping us find treatments that work for you. Feel free to explore our website further, or contact us to learn more about how we can assist you to manage your pain.

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