Entries by The Pain PT

Repressed Emotions & Physical Symptoms

Here is an article describing how repressed emotions can affect us and also cause physical somatic symptoms. It’s something I see in my practice and something many of you will relate to as well. What happens with repressed emotions is quite interesting and many times missed by the person experiencing physical symptoms and also the […]

Self-Efficacy is Important for Healing Chronic Symptoms

One thing that’s not talked about much in the chronic pain world is what’s called self-efficacy. Self efficacy (SE) is defined in this review study as “the personal confidence to carry out an activity with the aim of successfully achieving a desired outcome. SE is the central motor to developing human motivation, psychosocial well-being, and […]

20 year study shows how anger can cause health symptoms

In this study the authors were looking at whether chronic anger expression or what’s called stonewalling predicted cardiovascular or musculoskeletal complaints in married couples over a period of 20 years. Stonewalling is defined ‘as “tuning out” in response to a partner’s requests to change through criticism, concerns, and nagging. ‘Expressive behaviors associated with stonewalling include […]

Anxiety the cause of many physical symptoms

Anxiety is probably the biggest thing I see in my practice that causes physical somatic symptoms in the body that are not originating from a physical structural cause. The symptom list is vast, check out the anxiety centre link below and the others to see what physical symptoms anxiety can produce. Anxiety is a brain […]

Chronic pain is a memory of the pain in the brain

Researchers at Northwestern University have been studying the brain-chronic pain connection for well over a decade. Based on their multiple studies “we argue that the state of the brain’s emotional and motivational circuitry, as well as its reorganization following a pain-inciting event, determine the transition to pain chronicity.” Once we rule out any major structural issue, […]

Altered Brain Connections in Chronic Back Pain

I’ve posted before about how we see stronger one-way brain signals from the amygdala to the pre-frontal cortex in anxiety and how this is one-way signaling can cause the amygdala to hijack someone into more anxiety or panic. https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2020/04/stanford-study-finds-stronger-one-way-fear-signals-in-brains-of-.html We also see altered connections in the amygdala to pre-frontal cortex pathway in chronic back pain. […]

Scaling Up Cortical Control Inhibits Pain

What this fMRI brain study and many others are showing is a loss of whats called cortical control over the pain system. This is where the prefrontal cortex loses its power (strength) and firing rates with chronic pain. It can’t exert the regulatory control it needs to diminish pain. The prefrontal cortex is the answer […]

The Nocebo Effect Produces Physical Symptoms

This 2020 study in the New England Journal of Medicine from Harvard Medical School looked at people taking statin medications for high cholesterol. It really highlights the power of the brain in producing physical symptoms in the body. The nocebo effect is the opposite of the placebo. It’s where the brain works in a negative […]

Central Sensitization in many chronic pain conditions

Central sensitization is something I see in a lot of people with chronic health ailments and something we need to address for healing. According to the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) the definition of central sensitization is ‘Increased responsiveness of nociceptive neurons in the central nervous system to their normal or subthreshold […]

What contributes most to pain with lumbar disc herniation?

Radiating leg pain from a lumbar disc herniation is often attributed to either mechanical compression of the nerve root by the herniated disc, and/or local inflammation. This study of 53 subjects searched for associations between pain intensity and 5 contributing factors: 1) inflammatory markers, 2) herniated disc size, 3) infection, 4) psychological factors and 5) […]