Pain is less physically obvious than you think

If you’re someone who ever deals with injuries or gets older on their birthday every year this is a great article. If only there was some way to erase everything learned about this type of stuff from the average physiotherapist and chiropractor, and start over reading this excellent summary of the research first.

Gold:

For several decades now, it’s been clear to pain scientists and neurologists that this simplistic, pain-fiber model is hopelessly inaccurate. In fact, they call it “the naïve view”. Even microscopic worms with only two trouble-detecting nerves, compared to our billions, have richer pain experiences than that, with ways in which their pain is an “opinion” — an interpreted experience, with some surprising sensitivity to context. And of course it makes complete evolutionary sense. Pain is clearly more useful as an experience when it is “smarter.”

So the way pain really works is much more complicated, interesting, and in some ways useful. A nerve should never be call a “pain” nerve. It doesn’t detect “pain.” It only detects some kind of stimulus in the tissue … and the brain decides what to make of it, how to feel about it, and what to do about it, if anything.

If you read the article and agree we might be spending a lot of money on ineffective treatments and surgeries, imagine how far off we are with treating much more complex pyschopathologies.

(PainScience.com is worth following..)

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