Patients & Visitors

Pain Clinic

A17

Chronic Pain

barbed wire After a person has suffered pain for a period of time (usually considered to be about three months), the pain becomes chronic pain. While the sufferer experiences no change in their pain, alterations are beginning to occur in their central nervous system. The effect of these changes tends to cause maintenance of the pain; this effect means that the pain may persist after the original cause has gone. This is probably one reason why the pain of post-herpetic neuralgia can persist long after the rash of shingles has faded.

We don’t know exactly why this mechanism exists to prolong pain, sometimes indefinitely. We do know, however, that early intervention has the greatest chance of improving or removing the pain. Where neither is possible, patients seem to do best with a clear and consistent explanation, within the environment of a multi-disciplinary Pain Clinic. It is of the utmost importance that patients are believed at this stage of their pain journey, as they may have experienced demoralising disbelief from immediate family and friends.


back to top