Experience of Pain
Often, we cannot completely eliminate the source of pain – anyone with rheumatoid arthritis or chronic back pain will confirm that this is true.
When pain lasts for more than 3 to 6 months the unpleasantness and misery aspect of the pain often becomes more of a problem than the sensory “ouch-factor”.
Persistent chronic pain can lead to negative emotional, cognitive, and motivational consequences.
People who have no experience of moderately to severe pain lasting more than 3 months often have trouble understanding the “unpleasantness/miserableness” side of pain; it is beyond their experience. This misunderstanding can lead people to ask “why can’t people with pain just ignore it, like I do when I have something that hurts?” Nevertheless, the medical evidence that there is more to chronic pain than just the sensory experience is so convincing that our National Institute of Health has reclassified chronic pain as a disease entity – the NIH no longer considers chronic pain to be a mere byproduct of some other disease (like diabetes, arthritis, cancer, etc).
Chronic pain is a disease of the nervous system that has emotional, motivational, and cognitive effects that transcend the sensory experience. The Chronic Pain management program at Integrative Pain Center of Arizona is designed reverse this.