Did you ever think that â€˜painâ€™ and â€˜injuryâ€™ are not the same thing? Injury is physical damage to our body. At the instant of injury, your bodyâ€™s alarm system alerts the brain and the feeling of pain is our brainâ€™s interpretation.
Pain is very useful to keep us healthy and protect our body.
Touch a hot stove and nerves send messages to our brain to pull our hand off the stove!
But pain is not always accurate, and not always useful.
When pain lingers, the nerves and brain can become hyper-sensitive and the area becomes reactive to anything â€“ even if the original injury has healed or been â€˜fixedâ€™ by surgery a long time ago.
If our memory expects pain, or the brain is over-sensitive, then without added injury we can experience the original pain. This causes persistent pain (sometimes called chronic pain) to become entrenched in our being.
If you are having trouble with persistent pain
The first step is to learn more about how pain behaves. There are some great resources around, including books and websites. A good start is to look at the video link below.
Other things that have been shown to help pain sufferers include relaxation, meditation, a good diet, distract yourself from the pain, and exercise.
Warm showers, wheat packs and ice balms may offer temporary relief to help you be more active. If you are wary of exercising because of your pain, book an appointment with a movement specialist such as an Exercise Physiologist or Physiotherapist.
For more information check out this video by Dr Philip Siddall (pain specialist).
July 25-31 is National Pain Week.