For most people, pain comes and goes pretty quickly, but for others, chronic pain lasts for weeks, months – or even every day of their lives. In fact, chronic pain affects more than 76.2 million Americans — more than cancer, diabetes, and heart disease combined! In fact, chiropractors pay a pivotal role in safely and effectively alleviating America's pain without the use of harmful and highly addictive drugs.
In part one of this blog, we introduced you to 7 weird and wild facts about pain, and we have 7 more for you today:
1. We all know that smoking increases the risk of back pain, but studies have shown that it also increases chronic pain in people with fibromyalgia and neck conditions. In fact, the nicotine in cigarettes decreases blood flow to joints in the back, which delays healing and increases the risk of injury.
2. We don’t all feel and process the same, which means that people really do have a high or a low pain tolerance. The differences in pain sensation are attributed to many factors, like the different structural and chemical makeups of our brains, inflammation levels in our bodies, and even past experiences and trauma with pain.
3. Studies show that our thoughts and beliefs impact the magnitude which we feel pain. For that reason, we can influence our pain threshold just with our thoughts, or other techniques like deep breathing, meditation, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Some psychologists note that people with chronic pain often have deeply entrenched negative beliefs that are preventing them from getting better.
4. A 2008 study at Duke University confirmed the idea that our thoughts influence how we feel and process pain. In the study, volunteers received painful electric shocks. They were then given pills and told they would relieve the pain. Some of the pills cost only 10 cents, while others were $2.50. 64% of the volunteers that took 10 cent pills reported that their pain went away, while 85% of those who took $2.50 pills reported a reduction in pain!
5. In 2001, an unfortunate construction worker in Pennsylvania sawed his own hand off accidentally. But that was just the start of his bad day because due to the extreme pain and shock he suffered, he immediately picked up a nail gun and tried to kill himself. He lived even after shooting 12 nails into his head.
6. The CIA used to have a handbook on torture methods and in it, they talked about the importance of psychological rather than just physical pain. In fact, they found that the threat or anticipation of pain (through torture) was more effective and damaging than the pain itself, as people often underestimate their capacity to withstand pain.
7. Research indicates that pain may actually shrink the size of our brains. A 2004 study found that the brains of people with chronic back pain were as much as 11% smaller than those of people without chronic pain. However, scientists still aren’t conclusive as to the cause, although they believe that the stress of living with this condition impacts neuron growth in the brain, which becomes too overwhelmed and exhausted from constant neurological activity.
Share these facts about pain with your patients, audience, and followers. You’ll find that some of them message or email you about their issues with pain, and then make an appointment to come see you for help!