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Depression and Heart Disease

Persistent pain explained in 3 minutes

Our body has a living breathing alarm
system that tells us what happens to us so when you step on a rusted nail, do you
want to know about it yes or no? The answer is obviously yes because we need
to know there’s a nail on your foot, you can get an infection, gangrene etc. We
always ask little kids even in school now how do you know there’s a nail in
your foot? I mean none of us have eyeballs in the bottom of our foot. So our body has a living breathing alarm system called the nervous system. So our nervous system works like an alarm system that’s our metaphor. And the nervous system
typically buzzes along at the bottom, life is good. When we step on a nail it
ramps up the system and ding-ding-ding the alarm goes off and basically forces
us to do something. So we pull the nail out, get a tetanus shot we put a bandage around the foot and we learn from the experience: sharp=bad
right? We don’t walk barefoot around nails and what should happen is the
minute you pull the nail out, our alarm system would beautifully calm down.
Well the same thing occurs when we hurt our back when you hurt our knee etc. So
what we now know is if you hurt your back the alarm system ramps up, same
thing, goes off ding ding ding and says go get some help. So we go see the physio the chiropractor the doctor and what should happen is when we get treatment,
help etc the system should calm down and life goes on. We now know in about one in
four people the alarm system ramps up, go get some help, but doesn’t calm all the
way down and you get stuck with an extra sensitive alarm system. So if you think
of a threshold before you had pain there was so much room for you that you can go run you know a fun run, you can sit in the car for five hours driving to
Grandma’s house, you could deal with stress at home, but since having pain the
alarm system has never calmed down and now it takes – you know – five minutes in
the car the alarm goes off. A little bit of stress at home ding-ding-ding the alarm goes off. So we talked about the idea that the alarm system
becomes sensitized and it changes your life. Now I will tell you in all the
years I’ve told people the story in all our research there’s only three
questions they ask us. How do you know this? You’re a physio right? You’re not a surgeon. Why did it not come down? And number three the biggest one
they asked us is: how do you turn it down? As we teach a lot of people if you can
answer those three questions, game over. You’re going to help a lot of people. So
number one how do we know it? You told me. This is what we call the used to
could. This is what I could do and there’s what I could do now. I can barely touch
you – the physical palpation – the physical exams we as physios do. Why did it say up there all the yellow flags: this would be fear, worries about
your job, worries about income, stresses at home family life etc and then the
biggest thing is how do we calm the system down and then we give people a
biological explanation for things like aerobic exercise, sleep hygiene, nutrition,
relaxation, meditation, mindfulness, the list goes on and on and on. The story I
just told you, maybe a little slower easier, more explanation, is probably the
best story we have figured out in the last how many years we’ve been doing the research that people really get it and then they understand: so I did hurt myself but my
system is sensitive. Now for me and you today and people listening this is a
metaphor for central sensitization for allodynia a sensitive system which
changes your life versus tissues that have been injured.

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