Persistent vs Acute Pain
(Workbook Page 10,11)
Look at the pictures on pages 10 and 11 of the Neuroplastic Transformation workbook Notice that the areas of the brain where pain is experienced are exactly the same, but that the amount of brain “real estate” dedicated to perceiving pain is expanded with persistent pain.
As nerve cells involved in long-term firing in the pain circuit continue to fire, the brain real estate dedicated to processing pain signals rapidly expands. Local nerve cells from other functions that are not being used as much are reassigned to process pain. Not only does pain become more persistent, but other local functions like problem solving, planning, empathy, autobiographical memory, sensory processing, emotional stability all become less active and are degraded.
Use the graphics to visualize taking back brain real estate in pain perceiving areas for other functions such as decision making, pleasure, planning, problem solving, autobiographical and emotional memories, pleasant scents, soothing, empathy, other sensations, physical activity. See this animation of brain pain signals changing from acute to persistent, then to pain relief.
This shows how the brain's pain network expands when pain transforms from acute to persistent. It also demonstrates that when the brain responds by increasing the release of GABA, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter, from the insula to the amygdala, pain perception is shut off.
Remember that acute pain goes away.
Expect your pain to go away.