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Orthopaedic Massage in Cumbria

Pain Education

Pain is a highly complex process involving many different interconnected systems of the body and is influenced by our psychological and emotional states as well as our physical health.

We experience pain when our brain decides that there is a perceived risk to the health of our tissues; it is not dependent or directly related to damage or injury to our tissues, indeed sometimes we feel pain long after an injury has healed, or when there has been no injury at all. How can this happen? Our tissues are embedded with millions of nerve cells looking for threat which may cause damage – 3 kinds of threat – put simply:

Mechanical – eg pressure, stretch/tension, overuse
Temperature – too hot or too cold for the cells to function and survive
Chemical – eg inflammation, infection, pathogens.

When these sensors detect something which threatens the tissues they send a signal towards the spinal cord where a decision is made over how serious the threat is – this is where it gets complicated! Following this decision you may or may not experience pain.

The nervous system can become sensitised though, and this means it may generate abnormal signals itself, or become highly sensitive to any of the threats and generate signals at a much lower threshold than before. This is when you may feel pain without tissue damage, or long after an injury has healed.

Forming a pain management strategy for persistent pain often involves many things and Pain Education is an essential part of that process. Patients arrive in my clinics mostly because they are in pain, and helping them understand what is going on in their own body is what I do, either through one-2-one bespoke sessions, or through group workshops. Please contact me for further information.

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