Function Vs Feeling- How your perspective is KILLING you!

Posted Jun 13, 2022 at 14:39

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This week I had a new client come in who has been struggling with lower back pain recently. This isn't unusual for us, and is the most common complaint we see. The reason I'm writing this blog is because they came in wanting an MRI scan to see what was going on, and after just 10 minutes of talking, they left with a new perspective. That function is the most important indicator, not feeling. I wanted to share what we discussed, to hopefully help you understand why we only refer around 5% of our clients for scans.


X-rays, MRIs, CT scans are all fantastic ways of seeing what's going on inside the body, but what does it actually tell us? The answer may surprise you, because when it comes to pain, scans tell us absolutely nothing!


Pain doesn't come from the tissues in our body. Muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, the tissues in our body don't generate pain. However, they do send signals to our brain, when certain receptors in them are stimulated. We have receptors that respond to touch, temperature, chemicals, and when one or more of these receptors are stimulated, signal travels up to our brain via our nervous system.


The magic then happens in the brain. The brain has to decide if the stimulus is safe, or dangerous. It does this by drawing on lots of our past experiences. What happened last time this receptor was stimulated? Has it ever been stimulated at this time of day, in this environment? Our brain recalls all these past experiences in a split second. If our brain thinks we are safe, then we can just brush it off and carry on with our day. If our brain thinks we are in danger, it will send a signal back which we then experience as pain.


Because it's the brain that decides if we are under threat, it doesn't actually matter what's going on in the tissues. It's all about the brain's perception of what's going on. This is why a scan will tell us nothing about why we're in pain. In fact, sometimes having a scan can be a negative thing, because as soon as we hear we have degeneration or wear and tear or something similar, we often hold on to that. If you know you've got wear and tear in your joints, you're going to change the way you move and restrict what you do to try and avoid causing more damage. But this actually causes more damage!!


If you've had a scan that told you there's some damaged to your joints or other tissues in your body, and you want to find out how it's affecting your function, then get yourself booked in for a consultation and we can show you exactly what's going on!