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June 21, 2019

So one of the things that people often don’t understand is that there are very different kinds of pain and in our field we tend to categorize them in two kinds. One is when the nervous system is doing what it should do, it sounds the alarm appropriately because something is damaging the body. But in addition, we can have pain when the nervous system is malfunction, but our nervous system is sounding the alarm for no good reason like a car alarm that might be going off for no good reason. It can be a very painful response that we get from the malfunction of the nervous system. Examples might be somebody who has nerve damage from diabetic neuropathy or a classic example is phantom limb pain. If somebody has suffered an amputation, the part of the body that isn’t there, can be hurting and that’s because again of a malfunction of the nervous system that’s sounding the alarm and the patient perceives pain in a body part that isn’t there. There are many examples of this that in my specialty we deal with all the time where people are having what is often called nerve pain, and it’s, again, it’s from a malfunction of the nervous system rather than the traditional bodily injury.

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