Pain looks after you, it keeps you out of trouble. Although it feels unpleasant, it causes you to change when you’re in trouble, helps you learn and guides healing. See; pain’s a really good thing – we’re lucky to have it, but it cops a lot of bad press. It’s often thought of as public enemy number one! Did you know that some people are born without the ability to feel pain? They die young because they aren’t protected. Imagine what would happen if you didn’t know your appendix was infected or you walked on a broken leg.
You see, pain is a defender, not an offender – it protects you. When your brain ‘weighs the world’ and determines that protection is required, pain, the great defender, is called upon. But it’s such a good defense that sometimes you can make too much pain.
Understanding the protective role of pain is beginning of re-conceptualising it as a measure of ‘perceived threat’ rather than a reliable indicator of ‘tissue damage’. This might be a useful thing to realise the next time you say ‘I’d do anything to get rid of pain’.