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Did You Know: External Factors Directly Effect Our Pain Levels?

Did you know that pain isn’t what most of us think it is?   We can have pain without tissue damage and tissue damage without pain.  It’s a little different than what most of us had previously though or learned.  Did you know that we don’t have pain receptors in our body?   Instead, we have “danger” sensors that give information to our brain and our brain ultimately makes the decision to create pain in order to  protect us or tell us something may be wrong.  Our environment also influences the way we perceive how we feel.  Colors, sound, thoughts, beliefs, people in your life, experiences and even smells can all affect our pain.  

One of the exercises that I go through with my patients is reassessing some of the things that happen to them on a day to day basis that may be effecting how their body perceives pain.

I use a book called the Protectometer to help gauge which of these external sources may be effecting our pain levels.

In this book, they break down these outside stressors by “DIMs” and “SIMs”.  DIMs are “Dangers In Me” and SIMs are “Safeties In Me”.  Or in other words,  things that negatively and positively effect your bodies pain perception.  They are broken down in to different categories that can effect how you perceive pain.  These categories are as follows:

  1.             Things you hear, see, smell, taste, touch
  2.             Things that you say
  3.             Places you go
  4.             Things happening in your body
  5.             Things you do
  6.             Things you think and believe
  7.             People in your life

What you have going on in these areas can greatly affect how our bodies perceive pain.  For example, if you hate the dentist office and you are going there for a procedure, your bodies threat level may rise which leads to increased pain. 

One of the most common things I see amongst patients fits in the “things you believe” category.  If you have a mindset that you are injured and that you are going to be like that the rest of your life, then it is more likely that this becomes your reality.  We try to get our patients out of that mindset because there is always ways to drastically improve via physical therapy.

If you are in pain and want to learn more about it, you can schedule a Free Pain & Movement Assessment with us at any time.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and watch my video

-Kristy Pereira, PT

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Todd Robbins


"We Help Individuals Live Pain-Free, Move Better, and End Their Frustration With The Right Diagnosis And Personalized Care"