What is this thing called chronic pain?

 

 What is this thing called chronic pain? Pain is simply a message from our body to stop doing something. Right? Most people think that common pain symptoms, like neck or back, hip or shoulder pain is from an injury brought on by some physical movement. And the darn thing won't get better. Of course! I hurt my back when I was running, or picking up this heavy thing….But is that why you felt pain?

We humans are so great at situational correlation that we would defend till our dying day that that is why we have the pain…..The idea that pain means injury or damage is deeply ingrained in our societal truths.  The basic concept that our backs are vulnerable to pain and injury is a common belief. And the statistics bear that out.  approximately 8 out of 10 Americans will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. 

Back pain is getting worse . in 1997 29.5% of the population reported back pain. In 2013 that percentage was 33.5%

Back problems are more common in women than in men. 30.5.%  of women and 26. 4% of men reported pain. But here is a funny statistic. Over 30% of men reported when their condition affected their work compared to just 20% of women. 

Here is a stat that makes us associate back pain with sitting. 54% of the people reporting back pain had desk jobs. 

But did you know that 9 out of 10 people couldn’t trace the pain to a specific injury….? Then that leaves us thinking we are just weak. So if you have ever suffered from back pain you do everything in your power to avoid it….. You curtail your movement. You stay quiet and still. You stop doing things that you used to.
People often say  I am afraid of hurting myself again so I am going to be careful. But that is almost the worst thing you can do. 

Part of this mindset is brought on by the medical profession. Treating back pain is a $50 billion a year industry….  It has been assumed that all the pain is due to injury.

Here is a mind-blowing statistic….

Your bulging discs and spondylitis are often not the real causes of the pain. In a study done in the 1990s, radiographs were taken of people who complained of back pain and compared with radiographs of people who said they suffered no pain. The same amount of disc change was evident in both groups. Some people with horrible looking radiographs said they felt no pain at all, while people with nearly normal radiographs said they were immobile with pain. 

The old idea that our bodies are machines and that any pain or malfunction can be treated from the outside in and fixed like a machine. That is not exactly true. Our bodies are incredible interfaces between our mind and outside world. They can heal themselves. 

The real truth is that this pain is brought on by tension and stuck energy in the body. The pain is from your brain.  

Emotions that are unfinished, and moved to the subconscious level like a computer program that is running in the background.  

A whole host of stuff can be traced to this phenomenon. When you have what I call unfinished business that has been stacking up for a lifetime. It shows itself in many ways. 

Depression, Anxiety, physical illnesses such as autoimmune disorders….. and physical pain

So this is a big shift…. the idea that our emotions can stay running in the background of our minds and just like a weird biochemical monster come out and haunt us in many ways? 

That sounds crazy? Right? 

So here’s the truth, a number of people like Dr. Bradely Nelson, Dr. John Sarno….and many others have discovered this connection. 

It turns out that 95% of our thoughts and feelings are in the subconscious... Which means there is a whole world in there that you have no conscious awareness is going on inside your head….The human brain can take in 11 billion bits of information every second….. think about that! But our conscious brain can only handle 40 bits of information a second…. and for some of us, that is pushing it right? 

So what happens to all this information…. well it just gets shunted off or put somewhere. 

Here is a scenario of what could happen. Say you are a child, and you have a moment that you get a lot of stressful information coming in. Like most normal people, you react….. loudly… right? But you are being trained to be an adult by your parents and they quickly let you know that you aren’t supposed to do that. so where does that stuff go? to the inner child in you, You have heard of this inner kid? 

Then, over time you developed an inner adult who takes executive control over your actions…. That is the voice inside your head that is saying should or must all the time. That is your inner adult. 

But when you have these emotions and you never stop having them, even if you push them away… where does the emotional energy go? To the inner child. 

So when you are feeling something big as an adult, it activates this inner child in you, but then comes the adult….. that says you shouldn’t do this or that. and you being a good caring adult listen. 

So what if this goes on every day? What if you are living with all kinds of things that make you want to react, but you don’t? 

Well, most of the people who have back pain are very nice people. They may have other issues such as anxiety, depression or autoimmune issues as well. But they are very nice people…….

These are people who what to be good and do well.. they tend to internalize stress and strive for perfection. People with strong internal control are the people who what to be good, what to be liked, tend to blame themselves when things go wrong. They tend to strive for perfection, they have super high expectations of themselves and never ever let themselves off the hook 

So the vast majority of people with migraine headaches, TMJ, irritable bowel syndrome have a big niceness override. They have a strong internal control that makes them nice on the outside but they are mean to themselves on the inside…..

So what happens is when this very nice person is under stress, the inner child is getting upset and the controlling adult is saying calm down. So how many times have you calmed down when somebody told you to? 

And what if this goes on…. maybe for years….

Here is something I would like you to try. Think of something that makes you mad, or frustrates you, or makes you feel powerless….  really get deep into that emotion. Now check and see how your nagging painful areas in your body feel…. Ugh!

Maybe you might be feeling emotionally charged pain right now. 

So what do we do about it? 

The first thing is to say to the pain. "Thanks! I hear you! I realize there is no physical damage in that part of my body." 

 Tell your pain every day that I did feel angry the other day. Anger never helps any situation. We know this and now it is time to let it go..... Take a moment to imagine that you are opening a door and letting your angry self out of a timeout. 

You are in control. You are not a victim of pain. Your pain is psychologially based. Say bye bye pain. I need you no longer. 

Now do this every day until you pain goes away.