All of us have been in pain at some point, we all know how unpleasant it is, but how many of us actually know what pain is and also why we get pain?
When it comes to pain there can be lots of old-style beliefs about pain and what to do about it. Its quite a complex subject, but in the next few articles give you a bit of insight of my views as to what pain actually is and why we get it.
View Pain poster in Full Click here
One of my most successful tools as a Sports Massage therapist & Pilates instructor, doesn’t actually involve any massage or Pilates exercise at all. It’s actually helping to educate the client to understand what pain is and more importantly why they get their pain.
Before you read on! Be warned, much of the pain science maybe a little confusing to understand and may leave you feeling a little frustrated as it may go against what you have previously been told about your pain. If you find yourself getting a bit frustrated or confused, don’t worry, we have all been there (me more than anyone when learning about pain science, it took a time to all make sense). One thing I will say is that from the people I have treated, once we have worked through them understanding reasons why they may get their pain, they tend to get much better results!
Understanding pain isn’t a something we can cover in just one article (unfortunately). Over the next few months, I will be releasing a couple more articles and video’s (you can find them on my Facebook page here Pilates Performance Therapy Facebook Page).
So, we are getting start simple. Today its going to be quite simple and I will discuss, what I believe pain is.
Pain is an alarm system for your protection – In my opinion the most important thing to understand about pain is that it is there for your protection (although probably doesn’t feel like it if you have been in discomfort for a long period of time). I could give you a lot of detail here, however it may make things more confusing in these early stages, instead I will use an analogy which may help understand the very basics.
As stated above your brain creates pain (when it detects a threat to the body) to prompt you to action before any threat can do damage. Let’s think of touching a hot oven try and let’s break down the process. Have you ever touched a hot oven try and without thinking of it your hand instantly moved off the try, with little or no damage (apart from soreness and slight burn)? Let’s break this down. Firstly you put your hand towards the try, now this try is very hot and if you held that try for a period of time it could do a lot of damage to your hand, your brain detects this danger & when your hand makes contact it sends a strong pain signal to that part of the hand causing your hand to quickly move away. Other than a bit of soreness and a small burn which can heal quickly, there hasn’t been any damage or long last effect to hand/fingers and pain your brain has created has been successful in protecting you on this occasion. It is important to note here the pain did not come directly from the hot try, but was created by brain to protect you.
There is a lot more to know and understand about pain, but this is a starting point. Here are few other facts to know about pain, which will be discussed in future articles. They are:
I will be looking these and more in future articles.
For now, here is a couple of useful video’s for more information on what pain is:
Understand pain in less than 5 minutes
The mysterious science of pain
Butler D, Moseley L, 2013, Explain pain 2nd edition
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About the author
I am a Manual Therapist covering a range of different disciplines including massage & Biomechanics. I also run small specialist Pilates classes around Corfe Mullen, Broadstone, Wareham, Wimborne & Poole. Instead of just purely rubbing the pain, I always look to see if I can find a potential cause (or causes of the pain) and then work on treating this
Pilates Instructor & Therapist, helping you understand why we do what we do!