Understanding Pain & What I Can Do About It
- All pain experiences are a normal response to what your brain thinks is a threat
- The amount of pain you experience does not necessarily relate to the amount of tissue damage
- The danger message is sent to and processed throughout the brain. If your brain concludes that you are in danger and that you need to take action, it will produce pain
- Thoughts and beliefs are always involved and contribute to the pain response in varying amounts
- The alarm system in our bodies becomes more sensitive over time when pain persists beyond three months
- How you understand and cope with pain affects your pain; the more you understand about how your pain system works, the less threatening the situation becomes. Your brain will respond by producing less pain
- So what can You do?
A key to dealing with persistent pain is to understand why your hurts won’t harm you and that your nervous system now uses pain to protect you at all costs, not to inform you about damage. If you haven’t done so yet, take a look at the You Tube video, Understanding Pain: What To Do About It In Less Than Five Minutes. You can change the sensitivity of your nervous system:
- By being patient and persistent, you can use graded activities to gradually increase your function and involvement in life (see The Pain Truth, and Nothing But by Bahram Jam for guidance).
- By purposefully seeking out activities that produce danger-reducing chemicals (like Laughter and doing fun things with fun people).
- By looking at your diet and lifestyle to see how they may be contributing to your pain state
- By mastering your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes, plan your return to normal life. The research shows that it can work! Start with a gentle type of exercise that will get you moving but Calm Your Nervous System
- The information presented here is taken from Explain Pain by David Butler & Lorimer Moseley. We recommend reading the book, which is available at amazon.com or www.noigroup.com. We also recommend perusing Dr. Moseley’s blog, www.bodyinmind.org for more interesting and helpful information on pain science, and some very interesting and cool scientific discoveries about pain.
Other great resources for Pain education include:
Understand Pain, Live Well Again by Neil Pearson (www.lifeisnow.ca)
The Pain Truth, and Nothing But! by Bahram Jam (www.aptei.com)