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You are the Expert on your Pain

Did you know that there’s a difference between Nociception and Pain?


Nociception is the “neural process of encoding noxious stimuli”, or easier said: a signal arriving at the central nervous system. Pain on the other hand is the “unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual potential tissue damage, or such damage”, ergo everything that is perceived as painful.


Nociceptive stimuli are for example: 1) chemical 2) heat 3) cold 4) mechanical

difference between Nociception and Pain
Image Credit: Canva.com

But Pain is more than just nociception!


Pain is influenced by social and contextual factors, such as personal believes, believes from families and friends, cultural and societal norms, expectations, previous experiences, and so much more. That’s why YOU are the expert on your pain.


But what if the pain stays for a while? What is chronic pain actually?


Per definition, it is pain in one or more anatomical regions that persist or recur for longer than 3 months and is associated with significant emotional distress or functional disability (interferes with activities of daily life or participation in social roles).


And now to the part you’ve been looking for: How do we treat primary pain & chronic pain?


1) Rehabilitation (this is where we help you through physical therapy)

2) Integrative non-pharmacological modalities (mind-body techniques, breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, etc.)

3) Psychology (cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy)

4) Normalizing Life (Sports/ exercise, Sleep-hygiene, Social life)

5) Medications (may or may not be required)


In summary:


-YOUR pain is real & YOU are the expert on your pain

-It is important to focus on the complaints rather than the diagnosis

-Multidisciplinary/ Holistic approach



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