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Understanding Chronic Pain and How to Heal

Our body has an alarm system that alerts us when something is wrong. Receptors send information to the brain, which can then release natural opioids to relieve pain. Understanding different types of pain is key to healing.


Types of Pain


1 Nociceptive Pain: Like a "fire in the house," it comes from physical injuries or inflammation. Once treated, the pain usually goes away.


2 Neuropathic Pain: This stems from nervous system issues, causing burning or tingling sensations. It usually heals over time.


3 Nociplastic Pain: When pain persists after an injury has healed, indicating a malfunctioning alarm system. This type requires retraining the pain system.


Chronic pain often combines these types and affects 1 in 5 adults. A thorough exam and personalized treatment are essential.


The Vicious Cycle of Pain


Chronic pain can trigger hormonal imbalances, leading to a cycle of stress, poor nutrition, and lack of sleep, which worsen the pain.


Taking Charge of Healing


Dr. Andrea Ferland from the K I T Research Institute emphasizes that physical symptoms often express emotions. Here are her 8 fundamentals for managing chronic pain:


1 Retraining the Pain System: Yoga, Pilates, breathing exercises, walking, meditation, and mindfulness.


2 Emotions: Acknowledge and address emotions like anger, frustration, and fear.


3 Sleep: Ensure quality sleep for recovery.


4 Nutrition: Maintain a balanced diet for overall health.


5 Exercise: Engage in physical activity to release feel-good hormones.


6 Medications: Use medications properly.


7 Communication: Social interactions impact pain perception.


8 Goals: Set and work towards personal goals to build resilience.



Conclusion


Healing from chronic pain requires more than treating symptoms. A holistic approach involving physical, emotional, and lifestyle changes is essential. By diagnosing the type of pain and adopting strategies to retrain the pain system, you can take charge of your healing journey.


Stay Tuned!



Next week, we'll start a series on supporting our nervous systems for better motor control. Stay tuned and remember to breathe!



Chronic pain management


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