Post Traumatic Pain
"The nerve scars hold an evolutionary potential. For them, the concept of time does not count ... Clinical quiet does not mean that everything is finished. Time does not exist for our tissues." - Leriche, 1951
This article from the journal Brain (Oxford University Press) delves into the mystery of pain that comes or leaves years after an injury. Although it mostly addresses neuropathic pain linked to physical injuries, such as stroke, paralysis or amputation, there is this intriguing description of pain being held and remembered years after the trauma that caused it:
"Particularly vivid examples have been described; for example, the patient with a left above-knee amputation reported by Nathan. The day after a series of saline injections into the stump, the patient had been woken during the night by phantom limb pain, `… but this was not the pain I [Nathan] had been inducing. He told me that a few years before his amputation he had been playing ice-hockey in Canada, had fallen, and one of the players had skated over the outside of his leg, the skate cutting open the skin and damaging the muscles. What he felt during the night were the identical sensations in his leg that he had had five years before. It was not that he remembered having such sensations; the sensations were present once again' (Nathan, 1985)."
Other articles looked at women with Chronic Pelvic Pain and found high levels of dissociation and childhood sexual abuse. None of this is news for people who have worked with trauma survivors.
Trauma and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Women With Chronic Pelvic Pain: (46% of women with chronic pelvic pain report having a sexual or physical abuse history)
Psychological Trauma and Functional Somatic Syndromes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (People who suffered from trauma were nearly 3X more likely to suffer from fibromyalgia, chronic widespread pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, temporomandibular disorder, and irritable bowel syndrome. )
The association of interpersonal trauma with somatic symptom severity in a primary care population with chronic pain: exploring the role of gender and the mental health sequelae of trauma