Paradox of Pain

Did you know that scientists have found the feeling of pain is something your brain decides you should experience if it believes there is a problem?

Your brain can decide for you that you should feel pain even if it only thinks there is a potential threat of tissue damage. This means that even if you have no actual tissue damage you can still experience pain.

It means that the pain you feel does not always reflect the severity or even the location of your problem – if there is a problem at all. Science has shown beyond a doubt that pain is created in the brain. Our brains create for us the experience of pain to let us know that something is not ok.

A transcript of the video follows.

Pain Paradox Video Transcript

Did you know that the scientists now know that the feeling of pain is something your brain decides that you should experience? If it believes that there is a problem, your brain can decide for you that you should feel pain, even if it only thinks there’s a potential threat of tissue damage. This means that even if you have no actual tissue damage, you can still experience pain.

We also know from scientific studies that even when there is true tissue damage, your brain may not create the feeling of pain for you. This is called the paradox of pain. It means that the pain that you feel does not always reflect the severity or even the location of your problem if there is a problem at all.

Pain is created in the brain!

Science has shown beyond a doubt that pain is created in the brain. Sometimes pain can be very helpful and informative. Our brains create for us the experience of pain to let us know that something is not okay. Maybe we are overexerting ourselves or repetitively bending and awkward postures causing harm to the body. Maybe we have an injury that we may need to be careful with to allow the body to heal and to avoid further damage. The pain can let us know what not to do while the body heals the problem. This pain is helpful and informative if we listen to our bodies. These pain experiences are a good thing, but for some people, pain can persist even after an initial injury has healed.

And for some people, the pain can spread to other areas where there is no injury at all for these people. The pain has become non-information and non-helpful. The pain itself has then become a problem. The brain has learnt to be in pain the way the brain does. This is very similar to the way the brain learns anything else.

It’s called neuroplasticity or brain adaptations.

Did you know that what you focus on actually drives neuroplasticity? This is obviously a good thing if you are focusing on learning something because it will help you to learn it. But if you are focusing on your pain, this may actually make your pain worse or persist and harder to get rid of. It is therefore best to focus on the good things. Focus on what is working well. Pursue on what makes you happy. Focus on what you are grateful for. This alone can help you heal.

Brain scientists who have studied the effects of chiropractic, spinal adjustments have discovered that adjustments also change brain function.

Chiropractic has a neuroplastic effect on the brain. In particular, adjustments change function in a part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is actually a part of your brain that is very involved in where pain becomes chronic. This might be why early chiropractic care can have better long-term outcomes.

It might be that chiropractic care can prevent pain from becoming chronic in the first place. Neuroscientists believe that chiropractic care most likely helps reduce your feeling of pain by helping your brain turn down or switch off the perception of pain in the brain. This means chiropractors may or may not adjust your spine exactly where you feel that it hurts. They are looking for parts of your spine and body where there is a lack of proper movement, and we’ll adjust you there. So don’t worry if it’s not exactly where you feel the pain is. Remember that the feeling of pain that you experience is created by your brain and does not mean it’s exactly where the problem actually is.

Chiropractors are very good at finding the parts of your spine and body that need to be gently adjusted.

Research studies have shown that adjusting your spine helps your brain to know more accurately what is going on in your body so that it can more appropriately respond to what’s going on and control your body better.

It improves your brain body communication.

For more information, go and see your family chiropractor so you can sort out the pain in your brain.


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