Pain and the Brain

When the brain is hammered with unpleasant physical and emotional impulses day after day, week after week, it becomes very efficient at processing them.

Subsequently, it takes less of an impulse to trigger the same response in the brain. This is called sensitization, it happens when pain gets worse in spite of no additional trauma, or the same stimulus elicits pain faster or more intense pain. If you bend your finger backwards, it probably won’t hurt. But if you do it every day for a year, the case might be otherwise.

This happens with chronic pain, which is different from acute pain – they are processed in different parts of the brain. Acute pain – remove the stimulus, and the pain improves, eg. the pain goes away when the bruise heals. When you have chronic pain, that pattern has an established pathway in the brain.

In chronic pain, these pain pathways become imbedded. Kind of like muscle memory when learning a new skill such as golf or tennis.

Changing movement patterns can create new pathways in the brain and interrupt the pain cycle. This is where chiropractic care can help. We can identify habitual movements that may be contributing to pain. Adjustments can interrupt the pain signal to the brain with a different stimulus and alter the movement pattern to help you feel better naturally!

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