1. Pain is output from the brain. Pain does not exist until the brain determines it does. The brain uses a virtual “road map” to direct an output of pain to tissues that it suspects may be in danger. It’s a means of communication between the brain and the tissues of the body, to serve as a defense against possible injury or disease.
2. The degree of injury does not always equal the degree of pain. We all experience pain in individual ways. While some of us experience major injuries with little pain, others experience minor injuries with a lot of pain (think of a paper cut).
3. Psychological factors, such as depression and anxiety, can make your pain worse. Pain can be influenced by many different factors, such as psychological conditions. A recent study in the Journal of Pain showed that psychological variables that existed prior to a total knee replacement were related to a patient's experience of long-term pain following the operation.
4. Your social environment may influence your perception of pain. Pain messages can be generated when an individual is in an environment or situation that the brain interprets as unsafe. It is a fundamental form of self-protection.
5. Understanding pain through education may reduce your need for care. Military personnel demonstrated that those who were given a 45-minute educational session about pain sought care for low back pain less than their counterparts.
6. Our brains can be tricked into developing pain in prosthetic limbs. Studies have shown that our brains can be tricked into developing a "referred" sensation in a limb that has been amputated, causing a feeling of pain that seems to come from the prosthetic limb – or from the "phantom" limb.
7. There is no proven way of knowing whether you have a high tolerance for pain or not. While some people claim to have a "high tolerance" for pain, there is no accurate way to measure or compare pain tolerance among individuals.
Source: From information provided by the American Physical Therapy Association