The International Association for the Study for Pain defines pain as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage.22 Chronic low back pain is defined and distinguished from acute pain by symptom duration, treatment responses, the concept of neuroplasticity (sensitization) of the central nervous system, and the relationship of symptoms to the initial noxious stimulus. In contrast, in chronic pain syndrome, the balance between the sensation of pain and the emotional experience associated with it is far out of balance in favor of the emotional side.23 The criteria are as follows:
• chronic symptoms often severe;
• disproportionate to the pathology;
• atypical sensory features;
• "nonanatomic" location;
• associated symptoms (fatigue, sleep, memory, libido);
• social role dysfunction (work, home, play);
• excessive healthcare utilization.
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Do You Suffer From Chronic Pain? Do You Feel Like You Might Be Addicted to Pain Killers For Life? Are You Trapped on a Merry-Go-Round of Escalating Pain Tolerance That Might Eventually Mean That No Pain Killer Treats Your Condition Anymore? Have you been prescribed pain killers with dangerous side effects?