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Is Pain Only A State of Mind?

posted on 2014.02.25 by |

Is Pain Only A State of Mind?

So yesterday a friend asked me this as I had my elbow firmly pressed in his ass (that sounds so much funnier than “as I applied compression to his tight Piriformis muscle).  Good question!!!

We have all experienced “pain” in varying  degrees at one time or other. In Sports Therapy, we  don’t call it “pain” (or we can’t treat you), we call it “discomfort”.  So how much of it is in the head, and how much is actual “discomfort” at the site?

In boxing, your body feels pain differently…it doesn’t really hurt.  Bullshit you say.

Now  how to explain this to a non-boxer?  I guess you have so much adrenaline going through your body that everything has this surreal numbness to it, compiled by the fact that everything happens so fast, that you don’t really have time to process what is happening, and therefore no time to feel the “pain”.

Your mind plays tricks on you as you process the thought “I’ve just been hit” so it sits as a “shock” rather than an “ouch”.   However, once training has ended, and the adrenaline subsides, the “discomfort” (aka pain) sets in.

Every joint aches from the jumping, twisting, torque & compression that you go through,  and the immense pressure you place your body under to “give it everything”.  Go longer.  Go faster.  Go harder.

Ice become your friend, anti-inflammatory gels/patches/pills become the norm. Kinesio tape adds colour to your otherwise drab skin tone. In short, your body suffers.

In therapy we use two techniques (Compression and Neuro-Muscular Technique) to tell the ‘pain receivers’ in your cells to send a message to your  brain to relax so that the knots and tension can be released from the muscles, or their range of movement and flexibility can be increased.   This works…albeit temporarily!

So to answer my dear friends question…YES, pain is only a state of mind…unless your a boxer :)

So go Big Go Hard Go Long …and then rest!


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