Our ability to perceive pain is an important function of the human body. In most cases, pain acts as our bodies alarm system to tell us something isn't quite right. Most pain is short term or ‘acute’ and is there to warn us of injury or illness. For example, if we break (fracture) our leg, pain tells us we need to rest to avoid further harm.
On average, the human body takes between 6-12 weeks to heal itself. The rate at which we heal is affected by many things, for example people who smoke or are diabetic will have a slower rate of healing. In most cases, once the healing as taken place our pain should settle. However, we may continue to experience pain if our body has not quite returned to its previous state, e.g if we have yet to build back the muscle around our previously broken leg. This process can take time and again can be affected by many things, for example the amount of quality sleep we are able to get.
If the body is unable to return its previous level of function, it can become part of a pain cycle (see below)Pain can be a normal part of every day life. Often the pain we feel is related to our activity. There is usually always a reason for our body experiencing pain. The example below, helps explain why we may experience pain in the absence of an injury. This is known as overload.