Check out the following link: The top 10 things you don’t know about pain.
I’d like to highlight the first two, but in reverse order. Then, I’m gonna add one of my own. These facts are fundamental, as they make the rest of the 10 things, and everything else about pain, make much more sense.
This post makes the case of why injury and pain are two different sections of this site.
The degree of injury does not always equal the degree of pain. That’s right, it almost never matches. If you have a lot of pain, it doesn’t mean it’s a terrible injury. Also, you can have injury, with no pain at all.
Read: ‘Damage does not ’cause’ pain’ for more explanation if you want examples.
Why? because of this:
Pain is 100% of the time, an output from the brain. This means pain is a perception, not a sensation. There is actually no such thing as a pain receptor. What people are referring to are ‘nociceptors’, which still don’t signal pain. They are simply high-threshold receptors, meaning they only send a signal to your brain if the sensation is intense enough. But whether or not you find something painful is determined by your brain.
It’s kind of like this: just because a particular food sets off ‘sweet’ receptors on your tongue doesn’t mean you are going to enjoy the taste of the food. Or, maybe it’s food you usually like, but you saw a mouse crawl over it, which disgusts you. If you were forced to eat it, it probably wouldn’t be a pleasant experience!
I’m going to add another one:
Pain can persist beyond the healing of an injury. This is similar to the first one above, but in this case the mis-match is as big as it possibly can be.
Injury healed… but pain remains!
When people tell me they have had a “bad shoulder” for the last 3+ months, I immediately suspect they have a pain problem, not an injury problem. Most healing is finished in the first three months (no, not 100%, but most). That part of the body may be weak or ‘tight’ and require some rehab, but these things certainly should not be causing pain.
So what do you do?
For more information about how pain works, check out the pain section of this site. There you’ll find helpful videos and articles explaining pain (which actually does help decrease your pain). Plus, there are articles explaining ideas for treating pain.
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