Chronic Pain

Pain can often be persistent and remain long after an injury.  This pain is usually described as chronic and produces changes in us in the way our pain is perceived.

Pain is an output from the brain and a warning signal that tissue damage may be present.  Unfortunately it is not always an accurate warning signal and does not always commensurate with a specific level of tissue damage.  However, persistent or unexplained chronic musculoskeletal pain can often times be explained by changes in the central nervous system, which include the brain and spinal cord.  Our brains have the ability to change and adapt at any age.  This ability is called plasticity of the nervous system.

Plasticity is a term that means a tissue can change or adapt, and this applies to the nervous system when we are in pain for a period of time.  Our nervous system can become accustomed to sending us pain signals.  When this occurs our pain can become “centralized” meaning it is now controlled and modulated more by the nervous system and influenced less by the original cause or injury.

Lastly, hormone levels, stress, expectations and habits and other life factors, influence this pain.

At Ability Physical Therapy we specialize in the management and treatment of chronic pain.  The most important part of treating your chronic pain is understanding what causes and influences it.  For more information please see the links below.

1. Why Things Hurt
2. Understanding Pain:  What to do about it in less than five minutes?
3.  The Mystery of Chronic Pain
4.  Pain:  Is it all just in your mind?
5.  Living with chronic pain:  Part 1
6.  Living with chronic pain:  Part 2
7.  Living with chronic pain:  Part 3