Did you know that pain is NOT a purely physical experience when we feel it? Many of you may not know about the new paradigm shift in pain science that numerous medical studies have discovered. The biggest misunderstanding out there about pain is that it is created in the location of the body where we feel it. This is not true. The pain is actually created in our brain, processed in our nervous system, and expressed through our body.
You may be wondering how this is possible when you clearly injured a body part, such as a sprained ankle, fractured bone, or torn muscle. When there is a structural injury, your brain sends you the “pain message” to let you know that something got damaged in your body. However, your brain may continue creating pain long after your body has healed. This is when it reflects what’s going on in your body (biological), your mind (thoughts and emotions), and your social and environmental context.
Let’s BUST a few of the most common MYTHS about medical imaging.
MYTH 1: Medical imaging, like an MRI, is very good at pinpointing the cause of your pain.
- So many studies have shown that this is simply not true. While medical imaging is very good at ruling out disease pathology, like tumors, it’s NOT good at predicting, explaining, or treating pain conditions.
MYTH 2: If something abnormal shows up in the imaging, that has to be what’s causing your pain.
- We get wrinkles on the inside, which is all part of the normal aging process. The problem is, we give it nasty names, such as bulging disc, disc degenerative disease, or torn rotator cuff for example.
- Clinical studies have shown that plenty of people with “abnormal” MRI results experience no pain at all, and plenty of people with severe pain have totally normal MRIs.
- In other words, there is no correlation at all between chronic pain symptoms and the non-malignant abnormalities seen on an MRI.
MYTH 3: If you see something abnormal, you have to treat it, fix it, or you’ll never get out of pain.
- This myth can cause a lot of frustration for people in pain. However, it can cause a lot of unnecessary surgeries or physical interventions trying to treat an issue that might not actually be causing any problems.
On the bright side, this new paradigm shift gives us the freedom of knowing that the pain isn’t necessarily caused by what we think is out of our control, such as our normal age-related wrinkles inside our bodies. In my opinion, this can be such an empowering shift for not only our medical system but for all of us as human beings.
Now that we know where the pain is produced and processed, our nervous system and our brain MUST be included in our injury/pain recovery process if the pain has become chronic. It makes no sense to simply address our structural body.
There are many musculoskeletal pain disorders that are in fact related to stress or caused by suppressed emotions (Concept researched and discovered by Dr. John Sarno). This gives us a much wider range of effective non-invasive options to pain recovery, such as paying attention to our own mindset, our emotions, and our belief system.
Do you have persistent physical symptoms or pain, such as low back or neck pain, ongoing headaches or migraines, unresolved frozen shoulder, or unexplained joint pain? If you do, and you’ve gone through the medical system to rule out serious illnesses and tried all types of physical therapies and modalities with little to no results, it may be a stress-related problem. In other words, learning how to manage your pain by shifting your mindset through self-awareness, and regulating your nervous system might be just what you need.
If you are curious to learn more about the importance of mind-body connection and want to know how it can help your persistent pain, let’s chat.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up your FREE consultation call with me. 🙂
Yours in Health,