What is pain?

What is pain?

Pain is first and foremost a sign that, at that particular moment, damage has occurred somewhere in your body, which can lead to a response for your own protection. For example, if you burn your hand on the stove, you will feel pain in your hand and will pull it away as fast as you can.

However, pain is not the same thing for everyone, especially if you have been suffering from it for a long time. There are various personal factors involved, such as how used you are to dealing with pain and how it limits you personally in your activities. Your surroundings can also influence how much pain you actually feel, for example, how your family deals with pain. This approach to pain, which takes into account a number of different factors, is known as the biopsychosocial model of pain.

Since there are many factors that can influence how much pain you feel (physical, psychological and social), diagnostic testing for all these factors will be carried out at the outpatient department. First of all, we always look for the physical cause of your pain. This involves a general physical examination as well as neurological, orthopaedic and manual/musculoskeltal examinations, in some cases complemented by X-rays, scans and other tests.

We also deal with any psychological or social factors that may influence your pain. This is done by means of the pain questionnaires you will have completed before your first visit to a pain specialist at the outpatient department.

The factors that determine the degree of pain you feel come from different areas of medicine, which is why you may require treatment by various medical disciplines (neurology, orthopaedics, psychology, psychiatry and rehabilitation). This is known as the multidisciplinary treatment of pain, and is one of the most important working methods at our Outpatient Pain Clinic.