Danger! Danger! Pain Explained

June 9, 2016

All of us have been in pain, and as most injuries hurt, we always associate pain with something breaking, twisting, straining. However, the body of research into pain has shown beyond any doubt that we need to change how we think about it, perceive it, and more importantly, how we EXPLAIN it.

Pain is a defense mechanism, initiated by your brain, to protect the tissues in your body. This is why you can wake up with a sore neck, or bend over to pick up something tiny and your back spasms. The different nerves to different parts of your body are communicating via your spinal cord to your brain all the time. When those nerves convey a message that your brain perceives as dangerous, or when enough of the same message gets repeated to a threatening level, your brain will act to protect your body – via pain. So sticking your hand on a hotplate – dangerous, and therefore painful, i.e. don’t do that again. Broken leg – dangerous, and therefore painful, i.e. you need to get this seen to. But also – sitting in front of a computer screen all day, week, month causes stress on tissues to the point of fatigue. Your brain may think this is dangerous, and therefore painful, i.e. your neck needs a rest, stand up and move around.

Where the confusion lies is when the danger is less obvious, you get pain but aren’t sure why. If this persists, often worsening, this can be scary – we naturally assume the worst. Access to a well-informed physio, like those at Newcastle Performance Physio, can be your best way to manage, control and work your way out of painful episodes.

So if you’re in pain – particularly if you have been suffering for a while, come on in.

Until next time