Pain – Look! But Not Just There

Spontaneous pain will arise from time to time during your life. Spontaneous meaning there is not a clear cause for the pain. You haven’t broken your leg or burnt your hand. You will sometimes simply wake up with pain or it will come on gradually without a known reason.

When this happens it’s a wake up call. The problem is, it’s not just a wake up call to draw attention to that area of your body but a deeper attention is needed to understand why the body is out of balance.

We like to think our medical system has all the answers but there is still a large body of different conditions that are labelled ‘idiopathic’ or ‘ of unknown etiology’ meaning they arise spontaneously and have no known origin or cause.

Our bio-medical healthcare systems look at the area that is affected and attempts to fix that but for chronic pain that approach has poor outcomes or it revolves around managing symptoms with medications for long periods.

Where should you look when you have pain of no known origin? 

Healthcare is slowly moving towards Bio – Psycho – Social models. This means the body, mind and environment need to be considered. So you’ve got to look at everything your nervous system processes and that is pretty much everything and not just your current world but your whole life.

That can feel like alot to take in and it is, so it’s good to have a starting point.

I use the framework below that comes from the course from the University of Minnesota called Preventing Chronic Pain: A Human Systems Approach.

When the nervous system is sending an alarm signal these are areas that require your attention. Risk factors will be driving your bodily systems out of homeostasis/balance and if these risk factor/s have been happening for a prolonged period some systems will become dysfunctional. The end result is most often pain.

While there may not be a cure for these conditions of unknown origin, by enhancing your protective factors and detailing with or limiting your risk factors your nervous system can adjust closer to homeostasis and that will enhance your wellbeing.

Leave a Comment