So many times I have stated that pain is produced in the brain, 100% of the time with no exceptions. I have also stated that pain can occur WITHOUT damage of tissues.
Pain is a response of the brain believing that there is a threat to the body whether this is real or perceived. This also means that pain relies on context. Or should that be the BRAIN relies on context.
For example, a finger injury in a professional violinist will experience MORE pain than a finger injury in a dancer. Why? Because there is a greater threat to the violinist than the dancer. Their livelihood and even identity depend on it.
Pain is also dependent on its PERCEIVED cause. Research found that post mastectomy patients who believed any pain they had was due to returning cancer experienced more intense and unpleasant pain than those who believed it was due to another cause, regardless of what was happening in the tissues.
Other researchers found that when a person put their head inside a stimulator, their pain increased when told the intensity of the current increased. This happened despite NO stimulation being given at all. How? It was the brain's perception of the threat to the body that increased the pain.
Now I'm hoping that you are starting to understand just how super complex pain is. I also hope that this helps you see that our THOUGHTS play a huge part in when it comes to pain. In the examples above, it was the THOUGHT of the cancer returning or that the current was being increased that increased the amount of pain!
Lack of knowledge and understanding also increases pain. For example, unexplained and ongoing pain or deep injuries that we can't see increase the threat of pain. This is why I spend so much time with my clients educating them on what the hell is going on within their bodies. Just having someone sit down and give them some answers, to help reduce that fear, can reduce the amount of pain that they experience.
You see this very same thing when someone has an operation. When they are explained more about a surgical procedure beforehand (even knowing that they will have pain but that pain is normal) reduces the amount of painkillers after surgery (which I'm guessing means less pain?!?)
Pain really is a strange thing. And once again, depends so much on context. Pain can also change depending on who is around. Did you know that in pain experiments males INCREASE their PAIN THRESHOLD if they are tested by females? Or that men experience LESS pain if their spouse is uncaring? Did you also know that men will experience MORE pain if their spouse is attentive and kind?
Hmm, I knew there was a reason for me being a bitch ;-)