Why are some injuries more painful than others?

Many times when we have pain we wonder how much damage there is involved, Most people probably think "the worse the pain, the worse the injury” or “if it doesn’t hurt, the problem is fixed”, but is that correct? Does pain equate to pathology? How can we tell whether our pain matches the tissue damage?

Firstly, we need to understand that pain is a protective warning mechanism usually activated in response to a noxious stimulus such as cutting our finger or bumping our head.  But it is only when the brain concludes that the person is in perceived danger and action is required that we experience pain.
 
The experience of pain can be totally different for different people and it is because it is modulated by particular beliefs, experiences, knowledge, social and educational backgrounds and many other cognitive factors that make pain complex.

Many times when we have pain we wonder how much damage there is involved, Most people probably think "the worse the pain, the worse the injury” or “if it doesn’t hurt, the problem is fixed”, but is that correct? Does pain equate to pathology? How can we tell whether our pain matches the tissue damage?

Firstly, we need to understand that pain is a protective warning mechanism usually activated in response to a noxious stimulus such as cutting our finger or bumping our head.  But it is only when the brain concludes that the person is in perceived danger and action is required that we experience pain.
 
The experience of pain can be totally different for different people and it is because it is modulated by particular beliefs, experiences, knowledge, social and educational backgrounds and many other cognitive factors that make pain complex.
Secondly, when pain has been persistent for some time, the threshold to elicit pain becomes less. Hence, pain is experienced even when the tissues are not in danger of further damage. This is commonly seen in people with recurrent low back pain when a normal movement like twisting or bending can cause severe pain in people with a past history of lumbar pain. This is often how chronic pain develops.
 
Getting a proper diagnosis is key. Discussing your problem with a Physiotherapist as well as identifying all contributing factors including cognitive issues such as negative beliefs, anxiety, fear and stress that can be affecting the experience of pain can all be a positive step forward to ridding yourself of the pain.
 
SquareOne Physios are well versed in the latest research on pain as essentially it forms the biggest part of what we do day-to-day – we treat people with pain. Our aim is to remove the pain, identify parts of the body that have led to the injury and then restore them. We love our patients to leave SquareOne not only pain free, but happier, fitter and more resilient than when they first arrived.
 
By Marisol Reyes Fuentes. 
 
Marisol is in the second half of her Masters of Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy and having spent a whole semester studying pain medicine is an expert in helping manage our patients with long term pain start to enjoy their lives again.
 
Please book an appointment today online at www.squareonephysio.com.au or Phone 9968 3424.