Do you really know how pain works in your body?
So we have all been in pain from time to time or perhaps more frequently than we'd like. Does this make us an expert on pain? Lorimer Mosely has a post-doctorate in pain and was also a physio in days gone by. He has adapted a pain quiz to test us on our knowledge on all things nerves, brains and pain. Test yourself on this extract from his quiz. I've reworded some questions to make them easier to understand, but if you'd like the full quiz, let me know.
Answer true or false to these statements.
- Pain only occurs when you are injured.
- The intensity of pain matches the severity of the injury.
- Nerves in the periphery of your body (the limbs) can adapt by becoming more excitable.
- Chronic pain means the injury has not healed properly.
- The body tells the brain when it is in pain.
- The pain you feel is the same pain as your grandparents felt.
- In chronic pain, the brain becomes more sensitive to danger messages from your muscles and joints.
- The immune system has nothing to do with a pain experience.
- The brain decides when you will experience pain.
- Stress can make your nerves fire.
- Your internal pain control system is stronger than any drug taken.
- Chronic pain is more common in wealthier countries of the world.
Did you write down all of your answers? You can check the answers below.
Pain is an amazing thing and we are still unravelling its complexity in our bodies, brains, psychology and biology. Modern scanning has allowed for a real window into the brain and our understanding has grown in the past decade. So much so that this understanding has given us as health professionals the ability to educate our patients about the pain they are in. And on top of that, the research demonstrates that through knowing and understanding pain, pain can actually be diminished in individuals from this alone! Incredible.
If this interests you, there are a few amazing books about for suggested reading. Why not try Explain Pain ( Lorimer Mosely, David Butler) for a fresh view on the physiology of pain, or The Brain That Changes Itself (Norman Doidge) for wonderful tales about the brain's ability to change, called neuroplasticity.
Know pain, no pain.
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