Austin Manual Therapy Associates

The Science Behind Pain

Written By James T. Harris

Solve Your Aches and Pains with Physical Therapy

Pain is a common occurrence. Except for those rare individuals who have no sense of pain, everyone else will experience some sort of physical discomfort in their lifetime. According to data synthesized from information provided by The Manual Therapy Institute and Physiotherapist David Butler, the simple concept that tissues must be injured to cause pain is the most commonly held belief as to its source and has been around for centuries. But recent research shows that the source of pain may be from a multitude of other factors, rather than automatically associating it with tissue injury.

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How Your Brain Perceives Pain

Sure, tissue injury in the body causes physical pain, but it is hardly the entire spectrum. When information is sent from the injured area of the body to the brain, it is simply received as “danger”, or “no danger”. It is not necessarily perceived as what we think is “pain”. The brain analyzes the significance of the signal and then “decides” if it warrants further attention, or if the signal can be dismissed.

Prolonged and repetitive pain experience over time causes the spinal cord to get more efficient at sending this “danger” signal to the brain, instead of simple sensory information. This means the “threat” message is more easily and frequently delivered, even if there is no threat. If this process goes on long enough, without being checked, any type of touch stimulus may eventually be perceived as a danger, even if the stimulus is intended to be comforting and soothing.

The brain then has a hard time keeping up with the demand for more and more endorphins to be released to control this ever-increasing “threat” surplus. The brain is overrun by this constant influx of nociception. This phenomenon can be part of the clinical picture of many physical disorders such as Fibromyalgia, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, and other autoimmune disorders. The vague pain distribution (sometime subtle and sometimes intense), without specific tissue injury or mechanism of pain, is characteristic of what is now identified as Central Sensitization Syndrome.

Our trained physical therapists are dedicated toward helping you achieve a pain-free life.

How Manual Physical Therapy is the Best Solution To Treat Pain

This same research offers hope for those who are suffering from unknown and ill-determined causes of pain, and it includes methods of combined Manual Therapy coupled with gentle and consistent exercise, giving the brain a respite from the barrage of pain signals, and allowing the endorphins to overtake them. We know how to best treat this condition at Austin Manual Therapy.

Not all pain is created equally, but its experience is common. But pain is not “normal”, and we don’t want you to just accept you will always be in pain. Let us help you determine how to reclaim a more pain-free life. Request an appointment today and come see us at Austin Manual Therapy. We are the experts who know best! As Fellowship-trained Manual Therapists, we at Austin Manual Therapy have the training and skill to help most everyone better manage these often intrusive and unrelenting pain symptoms. To learn more about how manual physical therapy can help with your pain, schedule your appointment online today. Anyone whose life is mildly interrupted, or grossly disrupted, by any type of pain experience deserves relief and the experts at Austin Manual Therapy can help.