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Laura Black: Ah, the worst ones can be hours and hours. Laura Black: I was hiking with some friends and it was just sort of basic teenage clumsiness I guess, I fell over a rock. But the pain persisted for months even though her injury had healed. Dr Maryanne Demasi: What did the doctor say to you? It feels like somebody's got a red hot corkscrew and they're they're twisting it through my bones. Nerve fibres in the spinal cord release neurotransmitters that send messages to thalamus in the brain. The thalamus triggers other areas of the brain and returns messages to nerve cells in order to diminish pain signals.
You know I've gone from sort of you know a very happy person, I knew what I wanted to do with my life, to somebody who's trapped inside. Dr Maryanne Demasi: Pain is essential for survival. Now if I wave my hand over this flame, it hurts and the pain warns me to stop.
On the other hand chronic pain or persistent pain as I prefer to call it, is bad pain.
Because it just keeps going, regardless of whether the initiating injury or disease has healed up.
NARRATION: Even though her injury had healed, Kate was in excruciating pain. Kate Ross: About a year down the track he said to me, "I can't do anything else for you, you're just going to have to live with it". There no physical findings in terms of broken bones, they may have had one but it's now settled and yet the pain persists and the skin starts to change and they often become quite immobilised in that limb. Kate Ross: I can now walk up and down stairs and I'm much more positive now than I was back then.
So taking the leg off is not going to fix the whole problem. She jumped for the ball and landed awkwardly rolling her ankle.
Kate Ross: I was going okay for about a month and was having physio and everything was going along normally.
She even completed her honours degree in veterinary science.
But in the years that ensued, Lauras worst fears were confirmed.And I refer to this as chronic pain being a disease in its own right.