Many things impact pain. There’s a reason why two people can have the same injury or procedure and have extremely different experiences of pain with large differences in duration, intensity, and ability to cope.
In this example baby #1 didn’t even bump anything and cried because of their perception of what happened. Baby #2 bonked their head and then laughed because their perception was that it was safe, okay, and funny based on the parent laughing. Adults aren’t so different. A story often used in describing pain is a man who had stepped on a nail and it went up all the way through his boot. He was in severe pain and presented to the ER. They cut the boot off only to find out that the nail didn’t actually go through the foot or toes, but just scraped a tiny bit and went in between the toes. It was his perception that it went through his foot and so his body responded accordingly and he experienced pain.
Other things that impact our pain experience are our support systems, our understanding of how pain works, our fear associated with the experience, whether we jump to catastrophic thinking, and then of course the biological factors like genetics, the actual tissue itself, our physiology etc. This is knows as the biopsychosocial model of pain. Essentially there are variables in our biology, psychology and socially which impact our pain.
This is not to say that pain is all in your head- it isn’t. And this is actually a good thing. Because when it comes to chronic pain, there are SO many areas where we can make improvements that can translate to improvements in pain. Whether you’ve been in pain for months or decades, you can break the cycle and get your life back. We’ve been helping people do exactly this for years through our online system. If you’re struggling, reach out. We can help.
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