Here are some facts on pain:
- All pain is real. Imagined pain does not exit. Pain is an alarm system that warns the body of actual or perceived The brain and spinal cord can magnify pain as long as the brain believes the body is in danger.
- Increased nerve hypersensitivity may explain why some pain persists after an injured tissue has healed. The nerve hypersensitivity is often made worse with prolonged rest.
- Emotions can increase pain. Depression, anxiety, fear of re-injury, etc., can increase nerve hypersensitivity and contribute to persistent pain. A positive attitude can decrease hypersensitivity.
- Understanding that pain does not always mean harm is the best way of gradually returning to normal daily activity.
- Use it or lose it. Attempting regular movements and daily exercise are essential for managing persistent pain. This can change the brain’s perception and is called neuroplasticity.
Physiotherapists can explain how the interactions of the brain, tissue injury and emotional responses effect our perception of pain, and how we utilize these interactions for treatment.