Chronic and Acute Pain

Here is some information on pain from the Pettibon Institute that will be helpful to treat and resolve chronic and acute pain.

What is Pain?

Pain can be described as an abstract concept which the patient describes a personal sensation of “hurting”. Due to an individual’s perception or tolerance of pain and how it differs from individual to individual it is hard to define. Essentially, pain is the way your brain interprets information about a particular sensation that your body is experiencing. “Signals” or information about this sensation are sent via nerve pathways to your brain which then interprets these signals as “pain”.

Webster’s dictionary defines pain as: “physical suffering or discomfort caused by illness or injury”; “usually localized physical suffering associated with bodily disorder”; “a basic bodily sensation induced by a noxious stimulus, received by naked nerve endings, characterized by physical discomfort (as pricking, throbbing, or aching), and typically leading to evasive action.” Pain is believed to be caused by noxious stimulus, which results from physical and/or mental injury that nociceptors input into the limbic section of the cerebral cortex where the stimulus is interpreted as pain.

Ninety percent of chronic pain is located in the patient’s musculoskeletal system. In individuals up to 59 years of age, the most common sites of involvement include the shoulders, head, neck, low back, and pelvis.

Most back pain is the result of mechanical derangements, usually caused by injury of the hard and soft tissues of the spine, which causes inflammation and leads to varying degrees of resting and motion pain, decreased functional capacity, and decreased ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL).

Pain that is severe enough to limit activities of daily living and rehabilitation exercises begins to cause a de-conditioning syndrome with loss of up to 28 percent of a person’s strength and endurance in the first week of inactivity, followed by an additional 32 percent loss of strength and endurance after three weeks of inactivity. This includes cardiovascular conditioning.
Nutrition, sleep, and hydration needs increase with pain in the injured patient.

Pain is generally classified as Acute or Chronic. Recent research shows that in addition to being a warning signal, pain can be viewed as a pathogen which produces many different pathological conditions and dysfunctions in the body. Pain often prevents motions required for rehabilitation stretching, exercise, and other necessary and beneficial procedures.

From: Pettibon System
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