How Your Brain Impacts Your Pain

How Your Brain Impacts Your Pain

We’re not saying that your pain is all in your head, but we do believe that your brain has a powerful influence over the way you experience pain. That’s why we emphasize understanding the link between your brain and your physical symptoms and integrate this knowledge into your treatment plan. 

Here, Dr. David Wu, our pain management specialist at CurePain, takes a closer look at the mental side of pain and shows you how we can help you take control of the way your brain perceives pain. 

Your brain and your pain

The pain signals that travel to your brain are a key part of the built-in warning system in your body. When you sustain a minor injury like burning your finger on a hot plate, your peripheral nervous system alerts your brain that you’ve been injured, and then your brain decides just how much danger you’re in. 

If your brain decides that the pain signals indicate a severe threat, it turns up the volume on your pain until you address the injury. If the perceived threat is minor, your pain resolves quietly. 

This is a great system, especially when it comes to acute pain like burned fingers, stubbed toes, paper cuts, etc. But when you suffer from sciatica, joint pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other causes of chronic pain, your brain is on constant high alert. 

Over time, your brain can become overly sensitive to pain, causing you to register your aches and pains more severely and more frequently. 

Just because your brain is playing a behind-the-scenes role in your pain, doesn’t mean that your pain is any less real. It does mean that addressing the mental side of your symptoms is just as important as addressing the source of your pain. Here’s how we can help with that. 

How we can retrain your brain

At CurePain, we know that there’s rarely a quick fix for pain, so we attack it from more than one angle, including retraining your brain with cognitive strategies

Cognitive strategies help you shift both how you perceive pain and how you react to it. We equip you with coping skills, such as meditation, relaxation techniques, and positive visualization, that allow you to manage your pain on your own. 

You can learn how to relax your muscles; reduce tension; identify and replace negative, unhelpful thoughts; and even find ways to improve your sleep. Cognitive strategies also complement our other interventional pain management strategies, including:

We offer a wide range of pain management methods to help you relieve your pain without sacrificing your other health and wellness goals. 

If you have more questions about how cognitive strategies can help you, don’t hesitate to request an appointment online or over the phone at our Torrance, California, location today. 

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