Where does your pain come from?

by Feb 15, 2018Health and Wellness, Injuries

What causes you to feel pain?

When recovering from or managing an injury, acute or chronic pain can be debilitating in carrying out tasks of daily living or sports you love. Pain is a complex biological process. Today we will be explaining where your pain comes from and how our therapists at Westcoast SCI can help. Similar to an alarm system, pain is protective. Pain expert Lorimer Moseley states that “pain is an outcome of the brain designed to protect you, it is not something that comes directly from the tissues of your body”. Once your body has an injury or recurrent injuries your nervous system can store memories of the injury(s). Even once the tissues completely heal, your nervous system can remain sensitive and can produce signals of danger (pain) even if there is no harm to the body. Factors including stress, fear and failed treatment can all increase your nervous system’s sensitivity to pain.

person in pain getting therapy

It is important to remember that pain does not always mean tissue damage. Let’s think of pain as similar to a sunburn. After a sunburn – when you get in the shower and set the water to your usual temperature it might feel extra hot even though the temperature of the water has not changed. Sometimes our body can make us more sensitive to things to tell us we have had a past injury. But showering in the case of a sunburn – or movement in the case of injury won’t cause any further damage. Here at Westcoast SCI we are passionate about understanding and helping improve your pain. Our therapists can help calm down your bodies alarm system sensitivity to pain through education on pain, one on one rehabilitation exercise and manual therapy. Book an appointment with us to learn more and help us reduce and manage your pain.

Adopted from Jayde Woo.

Additional Resources:


BC Pain Toolbox: https://www.painbc.ca/sites/default/files/PainBC-PainToolbox-2016-Digital.pdf A complete resource with online resource recommendations, app recommendations and book recommendations.

Why Things Hurt? Ted Talk by pain expert: Lorimer Moseley (15 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwd-wLdIHjs