Why We Tend to Misunderstand the Nature of PainSEMGeeks
Anyone who has experienced pain for an extended period of time knows how difficult it is for others to understand. Pain is personal, which is why it’s often misunderstood. We can’t see another person’s pain, so we often generalize what that pain feels like. Maybe it’s not that bad. Maybe the person is overreacting.
For chronic pain sufferers, the pain is very real and very great. Why more people don’t empathize with constant pain is startling, considering that more than 100 million people suffer from it. Our hope is that with more education and awareness, we can help people acknowledge the physical and psychological repercussions of living in pain.
5 Reasons Why Pain is Misunderstood
Here are some common reasons why pain is not always recognized by others.
- There is no definitive test. Pain is subjective to the individual, which means there is no clear-cut, objective test to measure it. Therefore, people make assumptions about how that pain feels.
- It’s invisible. Unless it’s pain from a visible injury like a cut or burn, pain is totally invisible. The only person who understands it is the person experiencing it.
- It’s inconsistent. Most pain sufferers have good days and bad days. Those “good” days make skeptics question if the person is choosing to be in pain. (Of course, we know that pain is never a choice.)
- No known cause. Sometimes, there is no known cause for the pain. For example, fibromyalgia involves widespread pain but has no root cause. One theory is that people who experience trauma in childhood are at a higher risk because the trauma changes how the brain perceives pain.
- Failed treatments. Even many practitioners don’t understand pain or how to treat it. Not responding to conventional treatment makes skeptics think it’s “in the head.”
All Pain is Real
In 2011, the Institute of Medicine published a paper that discussed the topic of pain and our understanding of it. The authors agreed that pain comes from the nervous system but is affected by environmental, biological and societal factors. Therefore, pain does not have to be caused by a specific injury or condition to be real.
Additionally, all pain is real, whether it’s classified as physical, psychological or both. The medical community believes that pain arises from an overactive nervous system and can be manifested and perceived in different ways. If the pain is invalidated, it can actually make things worse by isolating the individual and exacerbating their symptoms.
Pain centers like Jersey Rehab and Pain Management know how to work with chronic pain sufferers. Our goal is to help relax the nervous system using cutting-edge treatments in a calm and compassionate environment. We are able to help many clients lead their best lives. Call today for an appointment at any of our four locations.