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What is Pain?

Pain is a complex, subjective sensory and emotional experience ranging from acute to chronic. Read the full text for a better overview.
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Mechanisms of Pain

Discover how pain works: from acute to chronic and the underlying mechanisms such as nociceptive, neuropathic and centralized pain and psychological/social factors.
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Usually, the feeling of pain (pain sensation) alerts a person to a disease, injury or physical threat, with the purpose of protecting the body from further damage. When the damaged area has healed, the feeling of pain should decrease and disappear.1

Chronic (long-lasting) pain, however, can exist even after the injury has healed and often serves no useful purpose.

Pain is a very common problem; in fact, one in five people in Europe suffers with chronic pain.2 Besides the pain itself, individuals suffer not only physically but also emotionally, psychologically and socially.3 Despite the broad impact of pain, it can often be invisible to others, leading to friends, family and colleagues dismissing those with pain and not empathising with their suffering.4

This is why improving pain awareness and understanding among people with chronic pain and healthcare professionals, as well as improving how these two groups communicate with each other, are the goals of the CHANGE PAIN® initiative.

Making decisions together; decisions about care and support are best when they are made together. Click on the links above to find out more information about pain to support your understanding and conversations with your healthcare team.

Please note: The information on this website cannot replace a patient consulting a healthcare professional. Only a healthcare professional can decide which diagnostic procedures and treatment options are best for each individual patient.

M-N/A-UK-04-23-0007-MAY 2023