Let’s get to know your pain!

Whether you jammed your pinky toe against the table leg or touched a hot pan, you know that pain will usually follow. And what’s the first thing we do when we feel pain? Well, first there is some sort of emotional response or maybe we just complain. Then we try to get rid of it.

But did you ever wonder why you feel pain?

Pain, is a message, a sort of public service announcement from your brain about a potential danger. That’s how pain arising from tissues (nociceptive pain) is to supposedly work anyway. Pain has continually displayed a bit of an issue for evolutionary biology. In a chapter on “design” flaws, Richard Dawkins states this in his book, The Greatest Show on Earth:

Pain, like everything else about life, we presume, is a Darwinian device, which functions to improve the sufferer’s survival. Brains are built with a rule of thumb such as, ‘If you experience the sensation of pain, stop whatever you are doing and don’t do it again.’ 

 In various painful circumstances, a little pain would actually be impeccably capable to serve the basic evolutionary goal of warning us away from threats.

Pain is a motivator.

It exists to get us to act. The brain effectively and imperfectly controls how we experience pain/potentially harmful stimuli, but I have to report to you that you do not control your brain. It’s not your opinion of sensory signals that counts, it’s what your brain makes of them that counts — which happens quite independently of consciousness and self-awareness. 

So is there anything that one must do when they experience pain?

Well, first familiarize yourself with the discomfort rather than taking a pill and avoiding it. To begin, use your pain as a guide by simply being willing to lean into it. Taking help of the appropriate medical advisor in understanding the nature, source, severity of pain and figuring out what is causing it.

Pain changes everything…it affects our..

  • Mood and energy levels
  • Sleep
  • Physical activity and functions
  • Work and finances
  • Family and relationships            

Knowing your pain

Acute pain which can be described as pain that is experienced for a few days, weeks or months. Usually, it is experienced together with an injury or potential tissue damage.

Chronic pain which can be described as pain that is experienced for 3 months or more, or longer than expected healing time for an illness/trauma.

What’s causing that pain..?

Pain types do differ and are often classified by the kind of damage that causes it. Have a look…

Certain types of pain are referred to as syndromes. For instance, myofascial pain syndrome refers to pain that is set of trigger points located in the body’s muscles…exactly why you book those massage appointments!

When the primary complaint is pain, the treatment of pain should be primary.

Response to pain is individual, and what may be painful to one person can be only slightly uncomfortable to another. Since pain messages pass through the emotional and thinking regions of your brain, your experience of pain is molded not just by the physical damage or sensation, but by psychological, emotional and social factors as well. Your memories of past painful experiences, genetics, long-term health problems, coping strategies, and attitude towards pain, diet and lifestyle can all contribute to how you feel pain. Thus a physician who addresses a patient suffering from pain using a holistic approach provides him with the knowledge that is necessary to treat all factors contributing to pain.

Pain neurology has been shouting it from the rooftops for a couple of years now: pain begets pain. The more and longer we hurt, the more likely we are to become dysfunctionally oversensitive. Fortunately, neurology is also our friend. Now that you know how nasty pain can be, but still the brain is the king of pain. There is no pain without brain. The better you understand your own pain, the less you will fear it, and the more you will see what your body is able to do. You need not be in pain. We are here to help you…!!! If you or anyone you know are struggling with pain, get in touch with us…Your path to health and wellness may be a bit different from those around you, but it does not make the journey any less vital. 

Authored by-

Dr Charmi Parmar

Masters in Neurophysiotherapy

Certified in Neurodynamics and Dry needling techniques

Consultant Neurophysiotherapist

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