I built this website because this question is so VERY difficult to answer. When patients come to me with severe pain but the investigations show ‘nothing is wrong’ it leaves them very frustrated. It’s so hard to explain. Let’s try.
Yesterday I had a patient come to me with a rash on her arm that flares up every few years. The rash is eczema. Why does she get eczema on that particular part of her arm and nowhere else. Turns out she had an injury to that arm a very long time ago. Instead of chronic pain, her Limbic System has given her only inflammation which results in a rash in the spot that was injured.
Here is how it goes. I will try an make a video but I am very limited in my video making skills. Here’s the explanation. Injury —> nerves carry the message of the injury to the alarm brain (limbic system) and the alarm brain rings out the danger message – PAIN. If you touch a hot plate – instantly get pain warning you of the danger of heat so you can remove your finger. Does that make sense? Okay. Onwards.
Say it’s a back injury and the pain goes away, but then comes back, and goes away and comes back and eventually stays. What is happening. 95% of the time, this pain is from a cycle of Pain causing alarm – when you are in pain – it is a negative stress and it can cause the alarm brain to go off —> When the alarm brain goes off, it automatically sends pain signals and inflammation. The inflammation is supposed to be for healing – as when you burn your finger – but when pain is chronic – the inflammation causes more problems.
Chronic inflammation along with chronic alarm can even lead to autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and even psoriasis or eczema or even inflammation in heart and blood vessels. It’s bad news.
Pain causes alarm and the alarm brain causes pain and inflammation. You are stuck in a deadly loop. Any extra stress makes the alarm brain ping even louder. By now, the alarm switch is broken and you are being warned of danger when there is none. So the problem is in your body – inflammation causing harm – and it’s in your brain – where the alarm brain is causing pain, inflammation, fatigue, poor concentration, mood changes.
High-impact pain is very very very – did I mention very – hard to treat.
Start with the basics. We have to move away from alarm. Every single time you have a twinge of pain – do the grounding technique – 5 things you can see, 4 things you can touch, 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, 1 think you can taste. This takes 30 seconds. Then take 2 healing breaths. Hand on the heart and palm on the lower belly. Fill the belly with air and then as you breathe out feel the belly going back to the spine.
This creates a new pathway. If you stop giving oxygen to the pain pathway and feed this new pathway, you will build a healthier pathway and starve the pain pathway. It can takes 8 to 12 weeks. You don’t have to believe it works. JUST DO IT!
Phew! Take care