Understanding What Pain REALLY Is

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    Pain is like a fire alarm going off in the building. It can be a guy smoking in the toilet or kids playing a prank. IT DOES NOT MEAN DAMAGE. It is a SIGN that your body wants you to change something. It is your subconscious mind PERCEIVING A THREAT and your body is POSSIBLY loading/using an area of the body too much and wants change or action. The subconscious mind is influenced from messages coming up the spinal cord from the actual tissues (muscles, skin, fascia, ligaments and nerves) from your body and makes it decision weather to ignore these warning signals or send you a conscious experience of pain.


    Your pain is INFLUENCED greatly by YOUR STORY and is unique to you. This is why a YOU centred approach is essential and non-negotiable…

    Unfortunately you are not trained to find out exactly what your body is asking you to change but there is where ProSport Physiotherapy comes in, in helping you piece the clues together of your story. You see, YOUR PAIN EXPERIENCE IS UNIQUE TO YOU. This is where there is no ‘magic’ exercise or an exercise that helped your next door neighbours cat; your pain is influenced greatly by YOUR past history or your story as we like to call it. An ability to influence YOUR subconscious mind and reassure it that there is no actual threat or possibly change the movement HABITS you have become accustomed and give you greater options to move can change the pain response quickly and dramatically if done in a correct manner.


    Your subconscious is ultimately concerned with keeping you safe. It makes a PREDICTION of what MIGHT happen in the future but can not actually predict what WILL happen. It controls the tone of the muscles (it actually sends that muscle spasm or tightness you may be feeling), it controls your breathing rate, your heart rate and how you feel. It is mainly concerned with keeping you safe.


    Your subconscious mind is ultimately concerned with keeping you safe. If you have conscious experiences of stress, anxiety or pain, it is letting you know it does not feel safe. Why would YOUR subconscious mind think this? The answer to that question can help us greatly in piecing the parts of your story together to change it the way you want to live your life…

    You could ask yourself, just before my pain or anxiety etc started why would my subconscious mind feel the need to keep me safe and react like this? This can give you some clues. Influencing your subconscious mind to change your habits can be tricky with just one aspect but at ProSport Physiotherapy, we have the skill-sets and the understanding that the body works as one and ultimately we need to change your subconscious minds PERCEPTION. We do this via breathing, exercise and even hands on treatment if required. We understand we need to change habits and help guide you to allow yourself to heal just as your body is designed to do.


    Pain is good at altering us to take action but does not necessarily mean damage. If I had a pound for every rugby league player that came in and was going to collapse with pain in their foot, hand etc and yet when the X-ray came back all clear, suddenly the pain levels dropped dramatically.


    Your subconscious mind takes into consideration your conscious beliefs about what the pain might be, context, environment and past experiences when deciding how intense the pain signal should be…

    The fear of the unknown is sometimes worse than reality. If there is a known mechanism or traumatic incident then this needs to be respected and can give us clues of the next step for you yet for most people the pain is not a true indicator of actual damage to the body. Our bodies are very durable and our minds can heal and dampen down the pain very quickly if given the correct stimulus combined with education, understanding and even some hands on treatment if appropriate.


    Our tissues contain special messengers that are called ‘nociceptors’ that send a signal to the brain letting it know they are feeling a little irritated. The brain will then decide if this is a serious threat and IS REALLY DANGEROUS or just an over reaction from these messengers. These ‘nociceptors’ are sending signals to the brain all the time and in most cased the brain does not take action. The brain may choose to send a small signal in the form of a small ache for example or really crank up the pain in the form of intense sharp shooting pains that are essentially designed to stop you in your tracks and take action NOW. When the messengers signals persists, the SENSITIVITY of the messages increase to the brain and the brain gets notified alot easier than before by even smaller movements that ‘used not hurt’ or by now moving even other parts of the body. This can cause the brain to send pain signals even quicker yet there is ACTUALLY no change in actual damage.

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    The level of pain is influenced by other factors also besides the messengers signals such as context of the pain, your own beliefs or thoughts about what MIGHT be wrong, where you are actually situated/environment and previous experiences come into play and are also important to consider. This may give you clues why your pain becomes worse in certain environments or even when you are around a certain somebody. Your subconscious may be associating this place or thing with a past experience that may be contributing to your subconscious mind ‘feeling’ unsafe.

Surround Yourself In An Environment That Gives You No Choice But To Succeed!

This is why education is so important so you understand what pain REALLY is. It is not just DAMAGE to a particular tissue. At ProSport Physiotherapy we aim to empower you with education, hands on treatment, exercise therapy and movement possibilities…


    From working in Pro Sport, I can tell you first hand that tissues can heal very quickly. And most tissues will heal within 12 weeks, certainly enough to allow you to function well enough during daily life. However sometimes the pain signals can persist even when the tissues have healed. The constant or repititive communication between the nociceptors and the brain means the brain has become much more SENSITIVE to these messengers and continues to do what it done before by sending a conscious awareness of pain when these messengers communicate with the brain. This means that the messengers might now only have to whisper and the brain will send the same pain levels as before when the messengers had to really shout from the roof tops before the brain sent the pain signals. It is the EXACT same or sometimes even less stimulus with movement. This can cause you to ‘guard’ certain movements and ‘believe’ that certain movements are dangerous when in fact it is actually those messengers relationship with the brain has become too close and the brain now trusts EVERYTHING the messengers say.

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    You may still experience pain even when the tissues are healed. That is ok. We will use all our skill sets to help you decrease your sensitivity to the tissues to help you live pain free again.


    Keeping your attention on useful thoughts can straight away help your pain. Your attention is either useful or useless according to mind coach Karl Morris and we can help you change your story by keeping your mind on useful attention amongst other techniques below. I hope you can now see that actually a quick fix magic exercise may not be out there but what is out there is a solution and hope. At ProSport Physiotherapy we understand that the human body works as one, only understanding the muscles and joints of the body is well and truly missing the boat. This is why we have immersed ourselves in understanding how to influence the subconscious mind using tried and tested techniques as used with many people around West Yorkshire and Professional Sports Athletes.

Have you ever been told ‘you will just have to live with this pain’ or ‘your just getting old’? These types of statements and your belief of these statements can influence your subconscious mind and the PERCEIVED THREAT! Update your belief system now!


    The most dangerous number is 1! One way of moving is not a good thing and research has shown if we have many movement options then this may help prevent future injuries. At ProSport Physiotherapy we give you some options back. We will teach you how to move in a variety of ways and show your subconscious mind that actually the tissues are moving but there is no need for the sensitivity response. We have many options to achieve this goal with you.



    With many movement options we can show you how to achieve the same movement but from a different method. This can help you reduce the fear as you can see the body does the same motions but yet there is no pain. This can be a big relief for patients to feel a movement pain free again and with confidence comes hope. With hope comes belief. With belief comes a change in the subconscious mind

    Using hands on treatment, education, exercise therapy, movement therapy and some cool little tips and tricks, can change your brains perception and help your physiology return to the ‘rest and digest’ system…


    With a change in pain perception and emotions associated with pain can come in a change in habit with your breathing rate and depth. This can contribute to a change in hormone levels and further push you towards the ‘flight and flight’. By educating you and giving you some easy to implement techniques we can change your physiology to represent a ‘rest and digest’ state which we have seen first hand the benefits of this treatment alone to help people in chronic pain and also stress and anxiety. One of the key benefits of this is improved sleep which can help reduce your pain levels.


    At ProSport Physiotherapy, we believe that every person should be able to move 3 dimensionally and control their own body weight. We can help you move more efficiently subconsciously, decelerate your bodyweight and then give you back your strength to allow you do the things YOU are required to do on a daily basis to live your life.