Understanding how your brain creates pain

Photo of clouds shows how gaining a better understanding of how your brain creates pain can help make the pain go away.

Pain is a complex experience that has been the subject of scientific inquiry for many years.

While we used to believe that all pain originated from physical injuries, recent research has shown our brains can create pain even in the absence of such injuries.

In fact, your brain has a quirk that can trick you into feeling pain when there is no physical injury.

Emotional injuries can cause physical pain

One study conducted by neuroscientists found that people who had just gone through a difficult breakup or divorce had the same parts of their brain activated when shown a picture of their former partner as when they experienced physical pain.

This study teaches us that emotional injuries, such as rejection or disappointment, can activate the same parts of the brain that cause physical pain.

Your subconscious brain controls the majority of your pain experience. When your subconscious brain senses you need protection, it sends a message using the language of pain to alert you to do something different. This type of pain is called neural circuit pain, and it is very common.

Neural circuit pain

Research has shown that the brain has a quirk that causes people to experience a tremendous amount of pain when they believe they are injured, even if there is no actual physical injury.

Your brains can trick you into thinking you have sustained a significant injury when there is, in fact, no injury at all. This phenomenon is known as neural circuit pain

Neural circuit pain occurs when the same parts of the brain that cause physical pain are activated in response to emotional or psychological danger, such as rejection, disappointment, or intimidation. This is why a breakup can feel physically painful, even though there is no physical injury.

The subconscious part of your brain that controls the majority of your pain experience does not respond to conscious control and is not your fault when it makes mistakes. The brain is wired to function this way.

Pain messages

It is important to understand that pain caused by neural circuits is real, and it is crucial to learn how to interpret and understand the brain's message.

Your brain is trying to tell you that you need to do something different, and it uses pain as a way to alert you to emotional danger. You need to listen to these messages and act accordingly to deal with the situation.

It is important to interpret and understand the message your brain is trying to convey. If you fail to understand the message, you may continue to receive medical treatment that does not address the root cause of your pain, leading to chronic pain.

Before self-diagnosing neural circuit pain, it is essential to seek a complete medical evaluation. Consulting with a physician who understands modern pain science can help you understand whether or not you need treatment for neural circuit pain.

Brain’s role

Understanding the role of your brain in pain creation is essential in managing chronic pain. It requires knowledge of how the brain works and how pain messages can be received even when there is no physical injury.

If your brain is trying to tell you that your work situation is emotionally dangerous and it produces back pain, it is your responsibility to figure out how to address the situation.

If you fail to understand the message and believe you have injured your back, you may end up receiving unnecessary medical treatment, such as injections and surgery, which can exacerbate the problem and lead to chronic pain.

By recognizing the signs of neural circuit pain and seeking appropriate medical care, you can take control of your pain experience and improve your overall quality of life.