Is chronic pain just a function of our brains? If so, how do we change our perception of pain? Today, we speak with licensed clinical psychiatrist and pain researcher Dr. Afton Hasset. Throughout her career, Afton has delved into the connections between the brain, chronic pain, physical activity, and emotion. She remains at the forefront of her field, and in our conversation she shares several of her favorite takeaways from her most recent book with us. Those of us intimately familiar with chronic pain know just how severely it can impact quality of life and happiness. With that in mind, join us to learn new, game-changing pain management strategies and therapies.
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“A little bit of pain is proper. What happens, though, is pain can change from being something like a stimulus response, meaning that you burn your finger and you experience pain. It can turn into something that’s not just pain experienced by a burning finger and the brain, sometimes brain actually creates the experience of pain.”
“What we see in chronic pain is that the default mode network is talking way too much to another network called the salience network, which is a network that says, hey, pay attention, this is really something big, watch out. And so these two networks are over connected. And so what we look for sometimes in interventions is does the treatment actually start disentangling these two networks?”
“So when we define pain, pain is a sensory, it’s an emotional and it’s a cognitive, for it’s a thought derived process. Pain exists because there is this awareness of it. So when people are anesthetized, you don’t feel pain.”
About Dr. Afton Hasset:
Chronic Pain Reset: 30 Days of Activities, Practices, and Skills to Help You Thrive (https://www.amazon.com/Chronic-Pain-Reset-Activities-Practices/dp/1682687651)