Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage. Humans need pain to alert them to injury or to help prevent injury. As pain is processed by the central nervous system, many structures of the brain are activated. These events can cause overwhelming changes and affect an individuals physical, psychological, emotional and sociological well-being. Due to these multi-faceted complications, an individual suffering sub-acute or chronic pain must undergo treatment that addresses these issues in order to restore wellness.
Initially, pain causes resistance to movement due to fear of increased pain. Over time, decreased ranges of motion result. The body compensates to make up for this lack of motion and consequently muscle contractures or "knots" begin to form. Tension in the muscles exacerbate pain levels which can interfere with sleep. Sleep deprivation causes agitation which increases muscle tension that again exacerbates pain.