Pain is a normal part of the human experience. Pain is a complex phenomenon. The International Association for the Study of Pain defines pain as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with, or resembling that associated with, actual or potential tissue damage. In the case of acute pain, a signal created in the brain alerts us that something is wrong, or that there is a threat present. But with chronic pain, this alarm system gets “excited” and can remain perpetually turned on, even when there is no immediate threat or danger.
Psychological factors including anxiety, depression, attitudes and beliefs, social context or work status may all play an important role to your pain experience. This is why chronic pain is so hard to treat because when we experience pain beyond the time needed for normal healing, our nervous system becomes hypersensitive. Stressors such as poor sleep quality, poor nutrition, inactivity, stress, and other medical conditions can led to a heightened pain response.
What does this all mean for you?
First, understand that all musculoskeletal injuries have the capacity to heal no matter if its bone, muscle, tendon, ligaments, disc, etc. All human tissue physiologically heals in time. Inflammation is normal as it is how the body starts to heal itself. The nerves being sensitive is a good thing. For example, if you stepped on a rusty nail, your nerves are “pre-warned” and increases its sensitivity to movement to protect you.
If you are in pain, treatments options are available which is more effective than prescribed medication or getting surgery. Movement for example, stimulates blood flow. Movement done frequently in a non-threatening manner reduces sensitivity.
Treating the whole body is necessary and effective and the key is finding the right healthcare professionals who can guide you to the path of recovery. Ultimately, it’s your actions that will lead to your recovery and wellness.
Schedule an appointment with physical therapy today to help steer you in the right direction.