The anticipation of an expected pain level can influence the degree to which you experience your pain. In some cases, when your anticipatory level of pain expectation is lowered, your brain responds by influencing special neurons. This renders your brain less responsive to an incoming pain signal and your sensation of pain decreases.
This is the rationale for utilizing biofeedback and meditation as pain control methods. In any event, both ascending (pain signals coming from the point of injury to the brain) and descending nerve pathways (signals from the brain to the point of injury) will influence or modify the effects on your body.
Unfortunately this phenomenon can also worsen your perception of pain. When you live with chronic pain you hurt. Doing certain things can make you hurt worse. So you come to believe that these things will always cause you to hurt. In other words, you associate those things with pain.
You believe that every time you do those things, you will have pain. Because you believe that you are going to hurt, you activate the physiological pain system just by thinking about doing something that you believe will cause you to hurt. This is called anticipatory pain.
You expect that something will make you hurt. That in turn activates the physiological pain system. This makes you start hurting even before you begin doing whatever it is that you believe will cause you to hurt. All you have to do is to start thinking about doing that thing.
To learn how to address anticipatory pain in a positive manner please check out my article Coping with Anticipatory Pain that you can download for free on our Ariticles page.
If you would like to be skill trained in a treatment model that teaches how to identify and address the psychological/emotional components of pain for more effective chronic pain management we have an Addiction-Free Pain Management®Training scheduled this Spring at Valley Forge Medical Center and Hospital in Noristown PA in June. It’s not to late for people to sign up and in fact by mentioning this Blog I will make sure you get a $20 discount for this training. To get this discount you must call my partner Ellen at (916) 575-9961 and ask her for the discount. Also, for this and other upcoming trainings you can check out our Calendar page.
You can learn more about the Addiction-Free Pain Management® System at our website www.addiction-free.com. If you are living with chronic pain, especially if you’re in recovery or believe you may have a medication or other mental health problem and want to learn how to develop a plan for managing your pain and medication effectively, please go to our Publications page and check out my book the Addiction-Free Pain Management® Recovery Guide: Managing Pain and Medication in Recovery. To purchase this book please Click Here.
To listen to a radio interview I did conducted by Mary Woods for her program One Hour at a Time please Click Here to go to this interview.
To read the latest issue of Chronic Pain Solutions Newsletter please Click here. If you want to sign up for the newsletter, please Click here and input your name and email address. You will then recieve an autoresponse email that you need to reply to in order to finalize enrollment.