What Is Pain?

You know pain is an unpleasant sensory experience and the emotional reaction to it. Pain can involve actual or potential damage to your tissues but can occur independently – that is spontaneously. The pain sensors signal when you are injured but aren’t in themselves sufficient to cause you pain.

Like a malfunctioning burglar alarm, you can also experience pain that persists even if there are no pain signals. Pain affects and is affected by various parts of your nervous system including how you feel, your motivation, behaviour and how you evaluate it and on the housekeeping part of your nervous system that automatically controls all your organs. Pain reduces your mental functions such as your attention, memory, mental flexibility, problem solving, processing speed and increases your likelihood of suffering from depression, anxiety, fear and anger. Pain often also has consequences on your social life.

You have pain sensors that can respond to heat, mechanical and chemical changes internally and externally. They are located in your organs, deep (joints and muscles) and superficial tissues (skin surface). Most pain sensors are unreactive unless you have an injury or a change in blood supply to the area, when they become very sensitive. Pain can be of two types – superficial and deep. Superficial pain is sharp, easily localised and usually triggers withdrawal. Deep pain usually dull, aching, poorly localised and causes altered movement and the desire to rest. Your pain sensors let you know if you have something in your shoes, whether you have a problem with one of your teeth or if you need to shift position. The pain you experience can be exasperated by stress, distress and how you think about pain. Distress involves focusing exclusively on the pain and worrying regarding the pain. The experience of pain is worse if you interpret to mean that it is threatening, unfair, a burden or punishment.

Your body has a number of natural painkilling systems – ascending and descending. The sensors in your body which respond to moderate movement, pressure and temperature can turn on the ascending pain killing system – based in the spinal cord – to switch off the pain sensors. This is where chiropractic and soft tissue therapies come in – by improving the movement and position of joints, relaxing tight muscles and generally improving your bodies blood and nerve flow; which can make you feel better. The ascending pain killing system is also switched on by TENS. Aspirin, capsaicin and menthol act to reduce the sensitivity of the pain sensors.

Your descending pain killing system uses the higher part of your brain to reduce the volume of pain signals reaching your conscious awareness. The areas of your brain which when turned on can help switch off pain are those involved with meditation, self-reflection, self-generated action, verb generation and the Stroop test and nd various medications.

Your local Preston Chiropractor and Preston Massage Therapists at Back-in-Action can help to locate the origin of your pain and provide you with treatment to give you pain relief from back aches and pains,  aches and pains in the neck, headaches  and a wide variety of other aches and pains.

From the Preston Chiropractor Team
Getting You Back in Action & Enjoying Your Life Again
Serving the people of Preston and surrounding areas including Southport and Lytham St Annes

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