Just Because You Thing Something, Doesn't Make It TruePain is weird; brains are weird; they don’t really know what’s going on in their own body.

They have an opinion, and they think they are right, but oftentimes, they’re just being stubbornly wrong. The longer pain lasts, and the more severe it is; the more entrenched the brain can become about its opinions.

When we feel a thing, nerves from the affected area send a stimulus to the spinal cord; which sends a message up to the brain when it has enough stimuli. These messages are what the brain interprets for you. If it receives too many of these messages, or they remind you of previous pain or damage;Altered Pain Perception then you feel pain. This pain may or may not be felt in the part of the body that is damaged; which would be the sensory equivalent of an optical illusion (we’ve all heard of phantom limb pain).
Pain is a perception of reality, and one that is designed to protect you; but it may become a misperception, and it may become overprotective.

What can happen in prolonged or particularly severe pain is that the brain learns, and adapts... essentially becoming phobic. Of course,Optical Illusion some pain is valid and necessary; an appropriate perception of tissue damage – this would be equivalent to being afraid of Australian spiders. But feeling pain beyond that would be the equivalent of being afraid of a British house spider – a common over-reaction that results in exaggerated fear and avoidance behaviours. This in turn can lead to worry &/ mood changes such as insomnia &/ depression. You can overcome arachnophobia; and you can overcome altered pain perception.

So what can we do about it?

Well, we can retrain the brain. We can reassure the body that actually, these movements, these touches are okay.Altered Pain Perception We can learn to think about the pain differently; to challenge the brain’s beliefs about what is happening. Gentle manual therapy can calm the brain’s over-reaction to stimulus. Finding things that don’t hurt (movements and exercises), and repeating them often, can push back on the boundary for what is felt as pain. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can change the way we think about the pain, and learn how to more appropriately interpret the signals arriving from the body. Even just reading this post can potentially help you understand, and feel differently about pain.

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