There's a good article in July's Ladies' Home Journal about chronic pain. I thought the following was of particular interest: "...keeping a stiff upper lip can be disastrous. Recent studies show that pain that lingers untreated for more than three months can actually change the hard wiring in the brain, triggering permanent changes in the way the body responds to pain signals. This both intensifies the experience of pain and risks making the condition chronic. 'If pain is not nipped in the bud with aggressive treatment, it becomes much more difficult to treat,'" Dr. Youn says.