When you first develop pain, it is important to see your doctor to check that the pain isn’t due to something that needs medical treatment, or could be dangerous.
Unfortunately, even with the best care, some people still have pain. There may be nothing to find on scans or tests, but pain persists.
If this is your experience, you may have wondered why your body is so sensitive. Someone may have told you ‘it’s all in your head’ or you may have wondered if you are ‘going crazy’. You don’t need to worry that you are weak, or that the pain is imaginary. It’s real.
There are many differences between short term and long term pains.
Short term pain is the normal way our body tells us something is wrong and we should take action to protect ourselves. The pain you have when touching a hot pan, or pricking your finger with a pin tells you to protect yourself and move away. The pain you feel after an operation tells you to rest more and allow your body to heal. These are short term pains that usually go away over time.
Long term (chronic) pain is when pain doesn’t go away. The original cause of the pain may no longer be present. There is nothing that needs medical attention straight away and you are in no danger. Yet there is still pain. Tests may be normal and there may be no abnormality to see. Yet there is still pain.
Anyone who has pain of some kind on most days for more than three to six months is usually considered to have Chronic Pain. Other words used to describe this problem include Central Sensitisation or the Chronic Pain Condition or sometimes Neuropathic Pain.
Once nerve pathways change the pain often becomes more complicated. In the beginning there may have been one type of pain. Now the pain is more complicated, with a mix of pain problems and often a sense of being tired and generally unwell.
No matter how your pain started, if you have had pain in the pelvis on most days for more than three to six months, then it is likely you have chronic pain. You may still have conditions in the pelvis that have not been fully treated, so sensitisation of pain pathways may not be your only problem, but is it likely that your pain pathways are part of the pain.