I have essentially invented and over time refined a metaphor explaining pain sensitisation in a simpler manner that is more easily understood and related to what is seen commonly at the coalface.
It explains pain sensitisation as a spectrum condition. This is just plain old common sense and I expand on this logical perspective in my blog - “Sorry, but there are SO many more than 50 shades of grey in pain”.
This view of pain sensitisation is important. It is preferable to the bizarre 'you've either got it or you don't and if I think you don't, I'm going to keep trying to fix all the things I see on your scan' approach currently being fostered because of the current 'accepted' definitions. Despite these well-intentioned, yet paradoxically linear, consensus derived definitions, the concepts generated from them are leading to harms because sensitisation processes are not being recognised early enough.
I use this metaphor in my presentations and with my patients in my office. Despite being a little visual I even used it in a discussion on a radio interview and it seemed to be understood by friends who gave me positive feedback.
So here it is now officially on my website introduced by this image which is a key slide from the presentation I give regularly on pain -