What happens when the pain changes from general pain to localised pain? The way we explain this is by looking at how an old transistor radio works – when you try to tune in to a radio channel it initially just gives you a lot of static, blur and noise. It is a generalised noise and not very nice to listen to. When you finally find the right channel the static fades and you start to be able to hear a clear sharp station.
When we start treating an area that has been troubling you for a while e.g. a shoulder joint, it will most likely hurt all around the area and it is very hard for you to pinpoint the pain. “It just hurts” is a common quote. As, for example, the shoulder starts to respond to treatment you will often find that there is an area of pain that appears more defined and perhaps sharper, this may be of concern to you as you may worry that it is getting worse. What is happening, however, is that the generalized compensation tension of the area has reduced and you are just becoming more aware of the original injury. Pain also changes as a result of improved understanding of the injury, changes in perception of the risks and feeling optimistic about recovery.