Pain always seem to be a scary topic. It makes people nervous…But in reality, it is a wonderful part of your body system. An exceptionally valuable communication network that keeps your brain aware of everything that is going on throughout your body systems and relays information back through those same systems. In short, it’s very important. That is a big part of the reason why it gives us such unusual and unpleasant sensations…it wants to be paid attention.
As we know, and as I always like to remind my patients, pain is your body’s alarm system. It is no different to itchiness on your skin from an irritant, or a headache when you’re listening to a building site next door. It’s all part of a wonderful system that says, “Hey, you, there is something going on here. There’s a chance it might be a problem, or is definitely a problem. How about you do something about that?” It’s absolutely brilliant. Damn useful in my opinion.
It’s something that a lot of us are frightened of though, because it doesn’t feel very nice a lot of the time, and there is variability in pain output dependent on the context of a given situation and environment. For example, you whack your shin of the tow ball of a car. Damn it hurts. But as soon as you recognise what you’ve done, and that nothing is broken, the pain dulls quite quickly and you’re more likely to consider yourself a dufus for whacking yourself, and you get on with it.
However, picture this. You walk through a dark bit of bush, when your system is on high alert already because it’s scary and an environment you’re not familiar with. and you’re picturing all the nasty, spooky things that MAY be out there and around you.If you get your arm caught on a small branch that pierces your skin, there is a really good chance that your pain response is going to sky rocket. Your system will associate that stimulus will all the things running through your brain and it may well seem like you’ve just been bitten by a Tarantula.
So, my advice to you is, start seeing your pain as a normal conversation that your body is having. It does deserve respect, but it does not need to be feared. The more you can become comfortable and confident with this conversation, by stopping and admiring the amazing system we have, rather than reeling away immediately and seeing it as a bad thing, the better you will be able to control and cooperate with your pain.
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