What does pain mean to the patient?

January 2018

Pain is a person’s private and unique experience, and no one except that person can know what their pain feels like.

There is a real dynamic relationship between the emotional and physical conditions of an individual and their experience of pain.

Long term pain puts stress on the brain which is revealed cognitive issues such as low mood, difficulty with memory or concentration, no matter what the underlying condition causing pain is.

Chronic pain and its psychological effects reduce quality of life, not only for the person with pain but for their family as well. In some cases, the psychological effects of pain outlives the pain itself and become the major health disorder. For instance, under-managed chronic pain may lead to less sleep, exhaustion, more stress, relationship and work problems and psychological distress so it is important to be able to intervene in this cycle to improve pain management and psychological welfare.

Pain can prevent people engaging with care that would improve their outcomes, and for each person the support they need is as unique as their experience of their pain.

Personalisation is essential when creating effective support programs for the patients.