Not too long ago Chronic Pain was thought to originate with problems in the body, muscles or joints perhaps, and some even considered it to be a psychological issue. The condition has simply not been well understood and, although it can very well include such physiological and/or psychological factors, with increases in our knowledge about the nervous system and the brain we are learning a great deal more about pain, understanding it significantly better.
Pain has everything to do with our minds and nervous systems, and we now know Chronic Pain is “a re-wiring of the brain’s perception of itself.” In other words…
the brain has become more sensitive and, in a sense, has ‘gotten its wires crossed’; messages from the body, nervous system and brain itself have become confused and overly-sensitized. It is a topic (brain-research, cognitive-science, the study of the nervous system) which is often challenging to understand.
A great, quick instructional video about pain and chronic pain out of Australia and their government’s Hunter Integrated Pain Service (HIPS) can really help explain the basics though. Produced in 2013 we’ve learned a thing or two since then but it continues to serve us well. So, for both you and your care providers its a great place to start, easy on the mind 🙂 and acts as a classic go-to if you need a refresher, to explain your condition to anyone or too, know anyone new to the journey.