How Does Your Brain Decide If Something Is Painful Or Not?

This week we are going to talk about how the brain is causing your chronic pain from an overly sensitive nervous system *video coming soon

Hey guys welcome back! The last few weeks we have been introducing the chronic pain issue and started reframing our thoughts on pain

This module will go deeper into the role the brain plays with us having an overly sensitive nervous system

Comment and let us know if you were able to find a way to move for 4mins and how many days you were able to move for? Also what questions have come up now that we have 4 modules up? 

Let's have some fun first with brain optical illusions listed below and with some crazy brain facts

  • The brain uses 20% of the bodies oxygen
  • The brain has 125,00 miles of neurons (these are the small lego blocks of your brain and nervous system)
  • While awake our brains can generates 10 to 23 watts of power, enough to power a light bulb!
  • The brain also has no pain receptors
  • The brain is the fattest organ in the body and is at least 60% fat
  • On average the brain weighs 3lbs
  • On average we have 70k thoughts a day
  • The brain is 75% water
  • The brain is made up of 100 billion neurons (the lego blocks that get put together to make your nervous system)
  • We make more brain cells throughout life in response to how we use it
Adelson's Checker-Shadow Illusion Muller-Lyer Illusion

Let's do a fun little experiment brain experiment

Close your eyes and think about a loved one

Now open up your eyes. For years we believed when you thought of somone little areas in the brain would pop up like flags in the loved one area and there that person is in the loved one area.

Could you remember your loved one? That used the area of of your brain that deals with memory. Could you see your loved one? That used the area of your brain that deals with vision. Could you picture your loved one moving? That used the area of the brain used for movement. Did you have any emotional thoughts about your loved one? That used the emotional area of your brain. When you thought about your loved one all those areas of the brain had a loved one meeting together to form a complete a brain map of them, so to speak. Every loved one map is unique, like every loved one is unique...

What this has to do with you is what we see on the brain scan link we showed you of the red blobs of a patient in chronic pain. This is a pain map similar to your loved one map. Your unique pain map shows all the areas of the brain that are used to process danger/stressirs/threats and gives you a pain experience. When you experience pain other areas that are used for other things (emotions, vision, movement, speaking). With chronic pain these areas become hijacked and enslaved, affecting how they perform their usual task. Your brain/ceo of body inc is very worried about you, which keeps it very busy with pain. 

Many non pain issues are due to areas of your brain being involved in a pain meeting


 when your muscle is in a pain meeting you might have problems with muscle activities. If your focus and concentration area is in a pain meeting you you might have probelms with focus and attention span and concentration. If your memory area is meeting you will struggle with remembering things. If you area that regulates body temperature is meeting you might have hot flashes. If your regulating stress chemicals is in a pain meeting you might experience stress more stress and anxiety


The longer you experience pain the busier your body is with these pain meetings

 *metaphor is from pain neuroscience education 

What does this have to do with your persistent pain and your failed treatments?

The brain is getting that report and starting to worry more about the pain causing it to shift focus more to that area

Now your brain is getting more and more reports about this area. What does this mean to you? When you have an on going pain you become more aware of the area and can think something is wrong even when it is not or has had proper time to heal. This is not always the case and you may just become hyper aware of the area. This increased awareness means previous tasks that did not bother your can start to bother you now (picking up a shoe, and bending over to brush your teeth or do dishes). Now this may not be a true indication of an actual tissue issue

Now the CEO can be a bit overprotective and a worry wart

If one division is underperforming the CEO might start snooping in other divisions as well. Now the CEO wants all divisions to send weekly reports so they can look for a possible problem.

Now you become more aware of other areas ontop of the original area. The brain is the CEO of the body. When it is worried about you it starts snooping around. The end result is increased awareness of other body areas without tissue damage. The pain then starts to spread as well. The problem is an overly sensitive nervous system now.

The only way to calm it down is to move in a sore but safe manner knowing that there’s not actually a tissue issue that will get worse with the movement. Movement sends a signal to the ceo that there's no real tissue issues and the CEO stops demanding weekly reports and goes back to normal reports without investigating. Remember the brain scans and less pain blobs on the brain? When you understand more about pain your body will send less and less information and we re-enforce how capable you are with movement. This is how pain can ease and knowledge can become a powerful therapy. 

What can you do to stop this from happening?

The key is slowly and routinely increasing movement in your life that is perceived as sore, but safe so the brain CEO will chill out


Rememebr we need to move daily to rewire our brain (change the neuroplascity) 

Home Work

Pull Up The Course Calendar

This week we will be focused on trying to do 8 mins of cardio for 4 days and to play the rehab board game linked below 2 times. Reference Week 7 in your pain recovery weekly calendar.

Rehab Board Game Pain Recovery Weekly Calendar

We are excited about what this class will do to reframe how you look at pain, which will get you back to doing the things you love in daily life again

We are so proud of you for undertaking this course and taking your pain head on

This process can be a lot, so do not hesitate to slow down to your own pace. You are not alone. If you are stuck and need more help do not even hesitate to reach out to us.  

Your life is waiting for you again on the other side of this course, till next time guys 🙂

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