I have been posting about some concepts of pain, that are widely understood, or at least not talked about when you have pain. Today’s concept is #3 in this graphic. “Pain is influenced by multiple factors such as thoughts, activity, sleep, mood, and stress.”
You may understand some of this. It makes sense that stress and activity influence or pain. Many people understand or at least are aware of links between over doing it and stress to pain. Some of the other things, sometimes are not as well understood.
As I talked about in previous posts, pain is a protective response, and can be from a sensitive nervous system. That sensitivity can start from an injury. The injured tissue and the nerves around in can be sensitized to protect that part of the body. But, anything that’s can sensitize the nervous system then can influence what you feel. That can work to increase or decrease that pain.
Not sleeping can make things more painful, while a good sleep can help.
Thinking about your injury and understanding that the pain is normal and things can heal may reduce distress and some pain. Wondering what is wrong and getting many answers while nothing seems to work can sensitize out system and increase your pain.
Losing your relaxing or fun activities because of an injury can change your mood negatively which can increase pain. While, maintaining as much of normal life as possible can help.
None of these influences make pain less real. It still can be influenced by injury and damage of course. None are saying just think positive or be happy and you will be better. These are simply influences that may change your pain one way or another. Understanding that these things can affect us, just gives us a bit more insight to what is happening, and may give us some tools to help.
If you have any questions about your pain or injury, give us a call at 970-949-9966 or drop a comment or ascent-pt.com.