Chronic Pain

There are many different factors that can contribute to chronic pain.  The one that’s played the most significant role in my own life involves the concept of neuroplasticity– the idea that the nervous system can start working differently over time, in response to the things it experiences.

When someone goes through a particularly painful or traumatic event, his or her nervous system can be changed by that experience, and become more sensitive to pain.  The medical term for this is central sensitization, and it generally occurs after someone has suffered a traumatic physical event (some estimates say it happens about 10% of the time).

The good news is that there are ways to reverse this process.  Research has shown that when you teach people with chronic pain about how the nervous system works, that alone can actually have an effect in reducing their level of pain.  This is because the person is able to step back a little bit and realize that although his or her nervous system is spinning out of control, the pain he or she is experiencing is not necessarily correlated with physical injury.  This was definitely true in my case– I finally met a great physical therapist who taught me not to fear the pain so much, which in turn helped to break the cycle I was caught in.

I am starting this blog to share what I have learned with others.  If you are in pain, there is hope.  I hope what I’m writing here can help you in some way.

For more, check out:

Understanding Pain:

Central sensitization:

My personal experience:

How I developed central sensitization: a series of posts that takes you back to my high school days, running for the cross-country and track teams and pushing my body to the absolute limit.

2 thoughts on “Chronic Pain”

Leave a Reply to inkbiotic Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s