Chronic pain as we experience it is the net effect of tissue disturbance, transmission to and from the brain, and extensive processing and modifying of the pain signal. With chronic pain, the signal and its transmission are often distorted. So pain levels increase, despite the fact that the injury has ended and the “need” for pain (protection, withdrawal, avoiding further injury) has passed. Chronic pain is usually neuropathic, meaning associated with disturbances of the nervous system. Often the character of chronic pain differs from that of acute pain (called nociceptive pain), which is usually sharp, aching, or throbbing, and comes from sprains, fractures, burns, bruises, or other forms of tissue damage. Neuropathic pain is usually a burning sensation and may involve troublesome numbness. Neuropathic pain can have a lightning-bolt sensation or an electrical quality. With neuropathic pain, you may experience allodynia, which is pain from something that normally doesn’t cause pain, such as light touch or a breeze across the skin. Also associated with neuropathic pain is hyperalgesia, meaning more pain than would normally be caused by a stimulus. This kind of chronic pain may be difficult to localize, and the source of the pain may be widespread or changing. This blog post is an excerpt from Pain Recovery – How to Find Balance and Reduce Suffering from Chronic Pain by Mel Pohl, MD, FASAM, Frank Szabo, LADC, Daniel Shiode, PhD, Robert Hunter, PhD; Published by Central Recovery Press (CRP).