Usually, pain warns us against danger. Pain motivates us to protect ourselves from harm and to start a targeted sensible behavior towards the healing process. Chronic pain doesn’t have these sensible characteristics. It often occurs without knowing what causes it. Also, a cause can be known but might not be able to be changed or even healed.
The pain exists for month or years. You don’t get used to the pain, quite contrary, the nervous system gets more sensitive: pain causes more and stronger pain. Additionally, the areal spread of the pain to other parts of the body, which weren’t originally affected by the disorder, occurs. The areas of pain grow.
The information of pain is transported from one are to the other. A sort of domino effect occurs: If pain exists in one area it affects the sensitivity to pain in the whole body. Finally, psychological consequences occur. Social withdrawal, anxiety, insomnia, depression. At the end is a pain inflicted change of personality, an independent pain disorder has formed. The search for a probable trigger of the pain is useless.
The constant activation of nerve fibers by chemical neurotransmitter is held responsible for the pathological persistence of pain, the chronic existence of pain despite the subsiding of every stimulation of pain. Additionally, flawed miscalculations of information of pain can cause the brain to generate wrongly picked up patterns of excitement which can last long beyond the initial stimulation.
This phenomenon is called the generation of a pain memory The pain keeps itself going, similar to the feedback of an amplifier of a sound system. Pain causes more and longer lasting pain. Thus, to endure pain is not a virtue. Most important measure in taking away the basis for chronic pain is an effective pain therapy.
You can use the headache risk check to find out how high the risk for chronification and the development of chronic headaches is.