Pain is defined as "An unpleasant and sometimes distressing experience associated with actual or perceived damage to the body"
All around our body we have sensors called Nociceptors. And these sensors are a bit like an alarm system. When activated by unpleasant stimuli, these sensors send a message to the spinal cord letting it know that something is not quite right and that there is a potential threat to the body.
But a bit like a fire alarm (which cannot tell the difference between the house being on fire or burnt toast) these sensors do not give any more information other than "Hey, there's a potential issue down here, you may want to do something about it!"
THE SPINAL CORD
The spinal cord then acts as an amplifier. It can turn up the alarm where the signal then gets passed on to the brain. Or it can turn down the alarm where less of the signal gets passed to the brain.
Nociception is a good thing. And it does not necessarily lead to pain. First….it has to be interpreted by the brain!
Ultimately it’s the brain that makes all the decisions about what to do with the information given. But it does not do this just based on that message. It decides what it should do based on many different factors. This is what is referred to as Multifactorial.
THE BODY'S RESPONSE
If the brain believes that the body is in danger, based on all information gathered (whether it is PERCEIVED or REAL) then it will send a message to the body to do something about it. And this 'something' could include a number of different reactions.
Or as you probably guessed it...
1. Pain is telling you there is an actual or perceived threat to the body.
2. The amount of pain you experience does not necessarily relate to the amount of tissue damage.
3. More pain does not equal more damage.
4. Pain is created by the brain, 100% of the time, with no exceptions.
5. The more the sensors are activated the more sensitive they become.
6. All areas of your life can influence pain. Pain is multifactorial.
7. For the majority of people there is a way out of persistent pain.