Why am I in pain?
Pain is a normal protective mechanism that a) warns us against potential damage to the body, and b) if we have suffered an injury, motivates us to favour the injured body part so that it can heal.
Our experience of pain is multidimensional – each of us responds differently depending on previous experiences, the context of our life, and our current mental and emotional state.
As an example, let’s say we had two people: one a bricklayer, the other a concert violinist, and we subject both to a potentially painful stimulus – a pinprick to a finger. Each person would respond differently, physically and emotionally.
Why is this the case? Isn’t it just as simple as a body part being damaged and therefore producing pain? Well, no, as it turns out. Each individual in the above example uses their hands for work, but in very different ways, resulting in different physical properties (e.g. calluses, or finger dexterity), and also in different meaning associated with the use of their hands. A nasty cut on the tip of a finger may be an inconvenience for the bricklayer, but could be a disaster for the violinist who has an important concert coming up. As such, the meaning of pain to an individual could produce very different emotional responses.
Fear and anxiety are common emotions experienced in response to pain. When excessive these emotions can actually increase the level of pain experienced. When we understand that pain is normal, and that it serves to protect us from injury, or that it actually helps us to heal, we have the potential to reduce our fear and anxiety, and as a result decrease the level of our pain.
Your osteopath understands the complex nature of pain, and works not only to help your body to heal, but to reassure you that your experience of pain is a natural and normal response to injury or strain. When given time, self care, and osteopathic treatment, your body stands a great chance of healing well, returning to a pain-free state.