Step 4 Understanding Pain

The more I learn about chronic pain, the less I know. Chronic pain is so complex, and the research so vast, it is impossible for one person to know everything there is about chronic pain.

Below are different pain experts explaining pain. My special interest is in stress because it is the cause of 70% of chronic diseases and early death. This interest stems from my experience of migraine when I had stress from pre-menopause, and back pain after a particularly stressful time in my life. But stress is not the only cause of pain and pain causes stress.

Here are my videos of trauma – physical and mental stressors that cause pain. Trauma and Chronic Pain.

Understanding Pain is vital to pain management. Take the time to learn about pain. These videos offer an understanding of pain and are worth watching all the way through to the end. Some information is repeated, but there is each video brings something new to the explanation of pain.  Video below takes a while to start, but it’s a good, quick explanation.

Acute pain is a warning of danger. Something is wrong. Your body reacts to protect itself. If your finger touches a hot surface, pain is the warning. Your body reacts by removing your finger from the hot surface.

When you have pain for more than 3 months, we call it chronic pain. At the 3 month mark, the danger has passed. In Canada, 25 to 30 out of 100 experience chronic pain. If you have a certain area that is painful, take a look at Types of Pain to see if you recognize the reason for your pain. There are videos explaining pain and types of management. 

If your pain is in many places of your body, it means your Fascia is involved. The more symptoms you have, the more likely you have fibromyalgia or myofascial pain syndrome.

Chronic pain changes how you experience the world and how you see yourself. Questions you make ask: Why me? Why now? 

Pain can stop you from doing activities you used to enjoy. It may change how you think of your future. It can make you feel hopeless. You may even wonder, Why am I here? What is the point of my life?

Chronic pain interferes with thinking and concentration. It affects your memory. It is hard to focus when you have pain. It can become the center of your life. Perhaps you can hardly think of anything else. It exhausts the body and the mind and can cause fatigue, anxiety, and depression.

Chronic pain can make you doubt yourself. You may even feel as if you are weak – even though people living with chronic pain have to be strong to survive it. Sometimes you may think the pain is all in your head. It is not! Have a look at another explanation of chronic pain.

Why do some people develop chronic pain?

There are more ways to injure your body than stepping on a nail or picking a fight with someone who is bigger than you are. Even sitting on the sofa produces pain. If you sit for more than twenty minutes, muscles in your body send messages to your brain warning your brain of danger. For the lucky 70% of us, these messages are ignored by the brain. If your alarm system is set too high, you can feel even the smallest amount of pain. 

Chronic Pain overwhelms the brain and causes severe stress, fatigue and brain fog. 

Chronic pain is a disease, not a symptom.

Here is another wonderful website with tips on how to understand pain. Flippin’ Pain.

Here are more resources from Flippin’ Pain

Here is another explanation of chronic pain. 

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The brain can change. It takes effort and motivation, which is particularly hard when you have chronic pain, physical or emotional, but the reward can be life changing. Not everyone will benefit, but if you do, your life could improve dramatically. This is a very reputable program that can help you change your brain. 

Medicine is more than pharmacy. Medicine can help, but are we spending our dollars on the end point of medicine – the complications of diseases that have preventable causes?

Linn Getz has a wonderful lecture you can view under Articles and Talks

She talks about Molecular Medicine – Where the body is seen as a machine (Bio-) and Meaning and Experience – Psycho-Social Medicine – Humanistic Sciences.

Biology – We can develop pain because of our genes or because of diseases and injuries. Western medicine focuses very much on the biology of disease.

Psychosocial Medicine? Our environment and our interactions with ourselves and others influence health tremendously. You will notice I spend much of my time on stress and disease. How we cope with our pain – emotional and physical – and how we interact with our environment affects us and those around us.