Hi, as a pain clinician I see patients who want reliable information to understand their pain. This blog is to help you know your pain better and overcome it.
What is pain?
Pain is a protective and useful sensation. It tells the brain about actual or impending tissue damage. The immune system is mobilized to that region to heal the damage. In short, pain is vital for our survival and safety.
Is pain always equal to tissue damage?
Not always.. when an injury happens for the first time there is actual tissue damage in that region. This is an acute injury. The immune system takes over and it’s healed in some time. Even after the healing is complete its memory is stored in the hippocampus (memory center).
Next time when we move out repeat a similar movement pattern to the original injury the brain identifies it as a potential threat based on the past memory. To stop us from going further it releases pain substance and we feel the pain now even without any injury. This is an example of the brain being overprotective. When this happens multiple times inefficient compensatory movement patterns develop. This is the chronic pain-injury cycle. This is why we but just even when the injury has long healed.
Should I rest when in pain?
Not always. When the pain is more than 70% of your capacity, it is good to protect and rest the part. The application of ice and heat helps in pain relief. Once the pain is down to 50 percent you can start moving slowly indoors making sure that you don’t do the aggravating movement. You can move the part in all pain-free zones. Belly breathing can help greatly to stabilize the core and decrease the pain. When the pain is stable at 50 percent for 24 to 48 hours or even less start with posture corrective exercises, core stability activity like simple tummy tuck in along with belly breathing. You can try bending from the hips instead of from the waist to bend forward.
A few things that help
While standing or sitting keep the outer borders of the feet parallel to each other and at hip-width distance.
Drop the knee caps while standing.
Wear comfortable clothing that allows the belly to move out with each breath.
Drop the shoulders down.
Belly breathe every 2 to 3 times every 60 min.
Pain though an uncomfortable feeling can be controlled and overcome. I want to leave this takeaway The biggest influencer of your pain is you… Stay happy and healthy.