Acute pain is kind of straightforward. For example, when you break a bone it hurts. Once the fracture is stabilized in a cast, the pain stops. We can also understand why a chronic injury like bad knee arthritis or a permanently damaged nerve can hurt for long.
Chronic pain, however, can be strange and difficult to understand in many fronts and not just where it comes from. Here is a long list of questions:
- Why does pain persist after an injury that seems to be very little and insignificant or for all practical purposes has healed long time ago?
- What about pain that seems to start in one part of the body localized to the site of a sprain or other injury, and then spreads everywhere?
- Why two people with the same injury seem to be affected very differently?
- Why do women seem to suffer from a lot of painful conditions unlike men?
- Why do people with the same condition respond differently to the same treatment? Why do kids who come from homes with relatives who have chronic pain seem more prone to develop painful conditions later in life?
- What is the reason people from different cultures and races feel and express pain differently?
I will address each of these questions in future blogs.