Dr. Andrew Arnold talks about how pain can be misleading.

I often tell my patients, ‘what you feel is not the whole story’. It’s not that pain isn’t real, far from it. I’m referring to how we perceive pain which is different for each of us.

Firstly, pain tends to be the last thing to happen. This means often there is a build up over time without you necessarily being aware of the entirety of this process, and then seemingly overnight things get worse.

Naturally, we then tend to connect it to the most recent event, something that happened yesterday or in the last week however, this is often not the root cause.

In fact, in my experience, pain is not often related to anyone significant event. Of course, this does happen, for example, a severe car accident, a fall or injury however, in my practice this isn’t common.

The other point is, pain is the first thing to go which it doesn’t mean the problem is resolved.

Pain is misleading and generally an inaccurate indication of what’s really going on.

Let me revisit my earlier statement, everyone perceives pain differently. What does this mean?

There is a multitude of factors that affect our pain perception, from our emotional state, stress levels, hormones, to time of day, the season, how busy we are, how sensitive we are, how long you’ve been experiencing pain.

To add to this, we all different thresholds for pain. There even appears to be differences in gender.

So, your Cranbourne chiropractor or physical therapist may say to you, ‘you’re on track, and doing great’ whilst you may feel you are struggling or visa versa.

Pain can shift and change sometimes minute by minute. I often tell my patients, ‘shifting pain is as good as improvement’.

This difference objectively and subjectively is because we feel pain differently.

Something may feel severe when in fact it really isn’t and again, visa versa.

An experienced practitioner can help reassure you.

So, don’t be too alarmed if you are experiencing acute pain. It may not what you think or even a sign you are improving.


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NadavZamirEliezerShuber*.Altered pain perception in hypertensive humans. Brain Research. 01, Issue 2, 17 November 1980, Pages 471-47

About the Author:

Dr. Andrew Arnold is a Chiropractor at Cranbourne Family Chiropractic and Wellness Ctr.

Category: Chiropractor

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