Pain Science – How Pain Affects Us

Dr. Justin LaLonde PT, DPT continues his expertise on pain with a video talking about adjusting our state of mind in which pain and stress levels affect us. Learn misconceptions and truths about pain and the science behind it. video by : Justin LaLonde PT, DPT @ Innovative Physical Therapy

Dr. Justin LaLonde PT, DPT continues his expertise on pain with a video talking about adjusting our state of mind in which pain and stress levels affect us. Learn misconceptions and truths about pain and the science behind it.

video by : Justin LaLonde PT, DPT @ Innovative Physical Therapy

Pain Myths & Truths -Here’s What You Need to Know!

Pain often is viewed as a bad thing or a misfortune placed upon us. In reality pain is just an alarm signal that is trying to tell us something about our body – typically that message is that something needs to change. Pain can help drive behavioral changes that help reduce the chance of further … Continue reading “Pain Myths & Truths -Here’s What You Need to Know!”

Pain often is viewed as a bad thing or a misfortune placed upon us. In reality pain is just an alarm signal that is trying to tell us something about our body – typically that message is that something needs to change. Pain can help drive behavioral changes that help reduce the chance of further breakdown or injury.

Without it, we could do some serious harm to our bodies without realizing it. Deciphering what specific pains mean is what we need to do a better job at so that we can embrace it and learn from it. It is impossible to go through life avoiding pain, so when we experience it, let’s try to better understand what our body is trying to tell us.

Here are a few misconceptions about pain followed by some truths that may help change the way you view your pain.Image result for pain charts

Pain Common Beliefs/Misconceptions: 

  1. Pain means something is wrong with me

  2. Pain is always a bad thing

  3. My diagnosis (knee arthritis, bulging disc, rotator cuff tear, etc) explains why I have pain

  4. Medical imaging will tell me why I’m in pain

  5. My body is broken because of my pain

  6. I need someone to fix me

  7. I need to stop activities because I am in pain

  8. Pain can be completely avoided

  9. Only one thing contributes to my pain

  10. Passive modalities will get rid of my pain.

 

Pain Truths: 

  1. Hurt does not always mean harm

  2. Pathology/anatomical changes most likely won’t explain WHY you’re in pain

  3. Pain is not typically caused by a mechanical issue

  4. Pain can’t fully be explained by a medical image (ie: MRI, Xray)

  5. You ARE NOT your diagnosis

  6. There is no quick fix and you will need to make actual changes – commitment and consistency!

  7. A good health professional will not FIX you, but instead give you the tools to facilitate fixing yourself!

  8. You are NOT broken!

  9. YOUR BODY IS RESILIENT!

  10. Pain is a good thing – it tells us something about our body, we just need to be better at analyzing and deciphering what it means

  11. Pain is multifactorial and often requires multi-disciplinary care

Pain is not always a negative, pain is a sign that you need to alter, enhance or strengthen! The human body is a miraculous machine that can heal itself and with the help of professionals, Physical Therapists, personal trainers, etc you can maintain and keep your body pain free!

 

Blog researched and written by: Dr. Justin LaLonde PT, DPT

 

Pain – How can I get rid of it? Will I always be in pain?

These are common questions we tend to ask ourselves when we experience pain. These are also questions we tend to get in our clinic when treating patients. But there is something more we should be asking about pain. What is it? What does it mean? What is my body and brain telling me? The answer … Continue reading “Pain – How can I get rid of it? Will I always be in pain?”

These are common questions we tend to ask ourselves when we experience pain. These are also questions we tend to get in our clinic when treating patients. But there is something more we should be asking about pain. What is it? What does it mean? What is my body and brain telling me? The answer to these questions will give us the power and knowledge to interpret our own pain and give us the knowledge and tools to help us get out of pain.Image result for pain

Pain is a common sensation and experience that nearly everyone experiences at some point in time during their lives. Pain is commonly associated with damage in our bodies, but this is not always the case. In a very short explanation, pain is an unpleasant output created by the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) that is meant to help our bodies by driving behavior change. This means there are many inputs to our brains that assist in the creation of this output –  these include internal and external factors. 

Internal factors include:

  • Sensation, our nervous system’s state (relaxed vs stressed)
  • Inflammation, and hormonal levels

Extrinsic factors include:

  • Emotional responses
  • Our environment
  • Relationships
  • Cultural/societal context.

This means pain does NOT equal damage. In many cases like a muscle tear or ankle sprain, pain is related to  tissue damage, but dissipates as it heals. In other cases, pain is gradual and diffuse without any apparent cause. This is a type of pain brought about our brain’s interpretation of everything going on around us and within our bodies.

There are many instances when something should be painful, but isn’t, and when something shouldn’t be painful, but is. Everyone has experienced a time when they have a small cut and it doesn’t hurt until you look at it – that’s because your brain constructs context around the situation and pain is the output. Think if you were hiking and sprained your ankle, all of a sudden, a mountain lion appears – you bet that ankle isn’t going to hurt and you’re going to run for your life! 

So, pain is all about context and how our brain’s perception of that context. Therefore, pain is not an enemy, but an informant. Unfortunately, when we are in pain, many times it is difficult to get out of that pain.  Understanding where pain comes from and what it means is the first step in getting rid of it.

We need to be looking at all the factors that could be causing our pain:

  • Sources of actual tissue damage
  • Beliefs about pain
  • Emotional responses
  • Thoughts
  • Sources of stress
  • Societal/cultural influences

We live in a time where our brains are processing more data in a day than ever, which is also a major contextual factor in unconscious stress. But remember, pain can be a good thing – because it is the process of our brain’s telling us something needs to change. So the questions of how can I get rid of my pain, and will I always be in pain are much more complicated than we initially think. We cannot avoid pain, so understanding it can help immensely!Image result for pain

Physical therapists can help decipher different aspects of our lives that can be contributing to pain. Luckily for us, science is beginning to understand the many different types of pain and what it means for our bodies. Physical therapists are at the forefront of pain science and can help many people regardless of what type of pain is occurring. Give us a call at Innovative Physical Therapy and schedule an assessment with a Physical Therapist to help you get out of pain and truly understand what it means for you! 

Here are some great references online and a great book to help understanding pain: 

https://www.noigroup.com/about/

https://theprehabguys.com/pain-science/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_3phB93rvI

Book: Explain Pain by Lorimer Mosely and David Butler

Blog researched and written by: Dr. Justin LaLonde PT, DPT.