The Pain Facts
Old vs. New Science
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Neuroplastic Pain

The Old Science vs The New Science of Pain


1. Pain is always caused by tissue damage.

2. Our nervous system is "hard wired" to feel pain.
   (Similar to an alarm system in a house)

3. The extent of tissue damage correlates with the severity of pain.

4. Pain is typically classified in terms of time. Acute pain less than 6 weeks, sub acute less than 12 weeks and chronic pain greater than 12 weeks.

A definition that was widely used in 1968, "Pain is whatever the experiencing person says it is, existing whenever he says it does"


1. Pain may or may not involve tissue damage.

2. Our nervous system is plastic (constantly changing).

3. There is not always a relationship between tissue damage and pain perception.

4. Pain can now be classified by physiology; warming pain (acute) and neuroplastic / destructive pain (Chronic). This new classification will be discussed more later.

Pain is defined by the International Association for the Study of Pain as "an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage".

The New Science of Pain
, the pain sensory (nociceptive) system is not just a system for the conduction of pain impulses from the periphery to the brain. We now know that plastic changes can take place in the periphery, the spinal cord and also in higher brain centers following injury, inflammation and other events. These changes may increase the magnitude of the perceived pain and may contribute to the development of chronic pain syndromes and increased pain sensitivity.

Pain effects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined!

The old science is NOT wrong just incomplete.

Treatments using the "Old Science of Pain" work very well for acute (warning) pain, but do not work well for chronic (destructive / neuroplastic) pain.

Treatments using the "New Science of Pain" work well for acute (warning) pain AND work well for chronic (neuroplastic / destructive) pain.