Chronic pain can influence every aspect of your life. It will dictate what you are able to participate in as well as your ability to enjoy that which you do participate in. There has been significant research done to find options for managing chronic pain aside from the standard medications, exercises, and rehabilitation.
Chronic pain is defined as that lasting longer than six months and is one of the world’s most costly problems estimated to affect one in every five people.
It turns out much of our pain is affected by what is happening in our brain. Fortunately, techniques have been created to harness the way we can learn to mitigate the neurons involved in our pain and are easily incorporated into our daily routines.
To effectively make the changes in the way we deal with pain it is essential to understand the basic mechanisms of what happens in our brain when we experience pain. Neurons are the messengers that send signals along your nervous system to whatever part of your body they are communicating with. In the past twenty years research has uncovered that the culprit creating chronic pain comes from the part of our nervous system called glia cells. When working optimally the Glia provide support and protection to the neurons, maintain homeostasis, clean up any debris and assist in forming myelin which is the coating on the neurons.
With chronic pain the glia doesn’t respond normally and redirect the neurons to create disruption in the way we feel pain. Normally when we feel pain, we mitigate it by taking a medication, using bracing or supports or removing ourselves from the origin of the pain. With chronic pain a false pain signal is sent that never ends creating an endless cycle of pain. Pain then is no longer a warning signal, but it becomes its own disease.
Techniques such as meditation, positive imagery, symbolic imagery, breathing and more have all been shown to be very helpful in managing your pain. Rather than review each of these I have found a program that is designed to take you through an in depth look at each of these in an eight-week course. It is free and filled with education, tools, and tips for managing your pain. Each course is 35-40 minutes long and was designed to be explored one course per week. The program was created by a group in Australia and has proven to be very effective at helping to educate people to manage their pain.
The link is: paintrainer.org
In addition, “Healing Back Pain” and “Mind Over Back Pain” are two books written by John Sarnos MD that will give you take a deeper scientific dive if you want to explore more about this.
There are many tools available to help you mitigate your Pain. I hope you will explore some of these tools presented and take charge of your pain in whatever way feels best to you. I wish you all a truly fabulous start to your new year.