Understanding the pain cycle

Pain is necessary. It alerts your body to injury, illness, and infection. But untreated can lead to loss of motion and more pain.  So, understanding the pain cycle can help you take control of managing your pain. 

The Creation of the Pain Cycle

Let’s assume you sustain an injury. The initial pain you feel is created by sensitive nerve endings that are alerting your brain that something bad has happened. This creates the beginning of the pain cycle. 

pain cycleYou have an injury that initially causes pain. When it hurts to move normally, your body compensates causing you to move in an awkward way. Over time other muscles and ligaments adapt and become trained to move differently too. Some muscles and ligaments will tighten while others weaken. The unbalanced motion and adaptation can then create new pain in those associated areas.  Then the cycle starts again in a new area of the body signaling to the brain that the original area is healed.  Now, your movement may be limited in the newly painful areas as well as the original area.  This is the pain cycle. 

If this sounds like you then you need professional rehab to help break this cycle.


How Massage Therapy Can Help Break the Cycle of Pain

Massage therapy can be quite an effective rehab for pain management. Your muscles contract in response to pain. Tight muscles can cause pressure on sensitive nerves, causing even more pain. Massage stretches contracted muscles and encourages your nervous system to release the tension. This improves the circulation to the injured or contracted muscles. Some of the pain you feel is a result of waste products becoming trapped in intense areas. When circulation is restored, you feel less pain as oxygen and essential nutrients replace the accumulated waste. 

You should also know that increasing your level of endorphins can help block pain signals. You can raise your endorphin levels with exercise, certain foods, reducing the stress in your life and by direct physical contact, like massage therapy. 

If you are unable to see a massage therapist, consider treating your self with these

Additional Sources:


The Pain Cycle


The Motion Cycle


Hi. I’m Felicia. I’ve made a 20+ year career of massage and bodywork. And, I still love it. I also enjoy writing, playing music, photography, cooking, baking and painting. All of which I’m not very good at. I’m also a daily bike commuter.

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