Why does it hurt?
Pain is all about PROTECTION!
Pain is a fundamental part of everyone’s existence. It is an amazing and interesting system in the body. It can be torturous, attention seeking and sometimes rewarding. Athletes often clarify their efforts by the amount of pain they have been able to cause themselves!
The body produces pain to protect us from harm (Moseley, 2015). Gone are the days of Rene Descartes when we believed the brain and body reacted directly to triggers in the outer part of the body. Pain has been found to be much more complicated than a simple relaying system.
When we injure ourselves the body looks for evidence to assess what has happened- so it will use our eyes to look, our hands to touch, our nerves to sense and combine this with all our past experience plus what we have learned from the outside world to make a decision on what to do. If we decide that the injured part of us might need some protection the body may trigger pain to help us out. If we need a lot of protection then we might get a lot of pain!
The pain is there to protect the injury and allow a healing process. SO it tells us not to move too far, not to put too much weight onto it but it is a lot cleverer than just this! The body will automatically change which muscles it uses, where in the muscle it works, it can also alter the immune system, change the amount of tension in the surrounding area to brace it PLUS influence our mood to make us feel bad about the area and to keep an anxious eye on it. Have you ever had a cut that you just don’t want to touch and you don’t want anyone else to touch it either!
This process is an amazing one when things are healing. If there hasn’t been an injury and there isn’t any healing going on it can be a troublesome process indeed. We can end up with all of the same reactions happening but without any of the benefits! Either way it can be helped and the body returned to normality.
Uxbridge Physiotherapy can help in both healing times and with longer standing problems. Understanding of the pain, neural and immune systems reaction to problems is key to managing them and getting back to full function.