Pain Perception

Physical pain is a disruptive life experience that can occur as a result of just about any system in the body going awry. The experience is different for everybody. It is often difficult for a person to describe and can constantly change. What is pain exactly? The International Association for the Study of Pain so eloquently defines it as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage." Since pain is very often perceived as being directly related to bodily injury, it can be considered a threat and therefore often results in some type of negative emotion. Now it is possible and it’s fascinating to me that pain and or certain key aspects of the pain experience often occur in the complete absence of tissue damage. Also, the CAUSE of our aches may be located somewhere out in our limbs, such as the foot, but the actual chemical event called “pain” occurs ONLY inside our brains. There are many well accepted physical and mental tasks one can practice on their own to significantly inhibit or enhance the end experience of pain.

Often by working with your medical doctor, physical therapists work to understand and explain the underlying reason behind what hurts. We can objectively measure your range-of-motion, strength, and key aspects of your desired ability level. We then create meaningful, measurable and achievable physical goals. From all this, we design individualized movement interventions that can help relieve pain.

Anna Kotula, DPT