What is Your Definition of Pain?

Everyone has their own definition of pain. It can be sensation or feeling from an injury, or physical problem, such as disease or joint dysfunction. Pain is a complex subjective phenomenon - key word being subjective. Most people can understand the concept of pain, after all, we’ve all experienced some type of pain some time in our lives, whether its headaches, injury pain or the pain you experience just from whacking your shin against the coffee table or slicing your finger on a steak knife. But, pain is different for everyone.


It is a sign of a problem or injury. It is usually short-lived and treatment involves the removal of the underlying causes and the use of analgesics. People who suffer from acute pain should seek advise from a qualified medical professional.

Time is a critical component in the treatment of pain. If pain is not treated quickly after the initial onset, acute pain can result in chronic pain. Therefore, it is important that pain is not only treated timely, but also aggressively.


Pain persisting more than 3 months, and long beyond the time of normal healing. It ranges from mild to severe and can last months or years. Chronic pain can result from an initial injury, such as a sprained back or it can be the result of more long-term health conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, or cancer. It is usually accompanied by sleep disturbances, decreased appetite or loss of taste for food, weight fluctuations, diminished libido and depression, just to name a few of the side effects.

Some chronic pain is the result of damage to the peripheral nerves or central nervous system, which is called neuropathic pain. Other complaints of chronic pain have no known source, including no past injury or disease and no visible signs of damage inside or outside of the nervous system. This type of pain is referred to as psychogenic pain.

The cause of chronic pain is not always evident, in which case we perform the necessary diagnostic tests to identify the source of your pain. Understanding and treating chronic pain is our primary focus.

     © 2014                        Center for Pain Medicine - Shawnee Mission Medical Center - 7315 East Frontage Road, Suite 140 - Shawnee Mission, KS 66204 - Tel: (913) 676-2370