People know what pain is, they know the feeling and discomfort of pain but do you actually know where it comes from?
We used to think that when you experience pain it was directly linked to the tissue damage or injury the body was suffering at the time, and that it was coming directly from that area. Recent research though has given this concept a shake-up. We now know that the experience of pain is created in the brain, in the central nervous system.
Keeping things very simple (this is a huge topic of interest and beyond the scope of this humble blog post): our brain is always receiving signals from within the body and the external environment. It then processes all that information which then allows us to feel and experience things. For example, if the brain receives signals about a potential threat or some damaged tissue, it will make sure we experience pain in order to alert us to it. This is essential for our survival.
It’s important that we do experience pain, it’s the body’s way of letting us know that something is not okay, it can be very informative if we listen to it and act properly. For instance, when you have a small cut on your knuckle and the whole finger throbs while it heals, that lets us know we need to protect that area from further damage or injury as the tissues repair.
However, what we also know now is that we could be experiencing the feeling of pain without there actually being any threatening damage to the body or tissue damage. We could also have tissue damage/changes (disc injury for example) and experience no pain. This is incredible if you think about it, and not to be ignored. It is very important we listen to our bodies and the signals and sensations we are experiencing.
Video Credit: Dr. Heidi Haavik. – The Reality Check.
Hopefully that has helped you understand a bit more of what pain is and where it comes from. This is a very relevant area of research and development of how we all understand pain.
Take the first step to feeling better again, please get in touch if want to know if we can help you with pain you are feeling.