Pain is a part of the body's physiological defences that signals we are about to inflict physical injury on ourselves.
We experience pain differently
Pain in itself is not an illness but instead a vital warning function.
Our gender, age, social, cultural and biological background determine how we register pain.
In addition, there are a number of other factors that determine how each of us deals with pain.
- Physical factors extent of injury and unsuitable activity level.
- Emotional factors: concerns and anxiety, stress, anger and frustration.
- Psychological factors: inappropriate thought patterns, approach to pain and over focusing on pain.
- Helps to stop an action or influence that can harm us.
- Makes sure we protect an injured part of the body so that the injury is not exacerbated and healing can take place.
- Signals that we have unexpected symptoms that may be a sign of illness that requires medical attention.
It is estimated that around 800,000 in Denmark suffer chronic pain. Chronic pain can dominate to such a degree that it affects the mind and our overall well-being – and reduces quality of life for the individual.
Acute pain – brief pains from when an injury occurs to when it heals.Chronic pain – pain that has persisted for over six months.
That is why pain has a long range of physical, psychological and social consequences for the individual person and the wider society, among other reasons, due to reduced work capacity, extensive use of healthcare services and reduced quality of life.
It can be very difficult to accept your own life situation and be patient when you have chronic pain. It can suddenly become hard to manage even the most basic daily tasks.
Some people are so affected that it leads to depression.
Read more about depression here.
Read more about strategies for pain management.
Pain management strategies
- Consult your doctor or an authorised therapist to get help to discover what to do to reduce/eliminate pain
- Treat yourself by doing things that make you happy.
- Let go of your ambitions and accept that you can no longer do things as before - and that is okay.
- Set small, achievable targets – it is important to celebrate your successes so that you can clearly see and feel that things are going in the right direction.
- Actively look for things you can do to reduce pain, try, for example, our mindfulness exercise "Bodyscan".
- Use a little time each day to think about the good experiences of the day - even though they may seem small and insignificant, for example, a good cup of coffee or the sun shining. Small, good things can help to shift our focus from the pain and show us that life has more to offer.
- Stress can affect your experience of pain negatively. Read here what you can do to manage stress.
- It can be hard to sleep when you are in pain but you can do something to help, for example, by listening to 'Body scanning' just before you try to sleep. Read more about sleep here.
- Find more audio recordings on our 'Mindfulness' page.