The numbing pain hardly ever goes away.
It’s stuck with you like a leech, draining out the energy and the motivation to go about your day.
You can’t help but laugh at the people who have the nerve to say how lucky you are for not having to go to work and lie on your bed all day.
You feel the tension slowly gripping the mid of your chest. You want to scream. You want to break free. But a haunting memory prevents you from doing so!
People who don’t suffer from chronic pain may never fully understand what it feels like.
And no matter how much you try, you just can’t explain it in mere words. It’s a constant physical ache that never goes away, or does so temporarily, only to return much stronger. There can be a number of root causes of chronic pain. A past injury, botched surgery, genetic condition, inflammation, neuropathies…anything can cause chronic pain. But there is one root cause that often skips our mind. The surprising thing is that it has become a common part of all of our lives, which is a result of the world becoming faster and more efficient. In case you haven’t guessed, I’m talking about stress.
In one of my previous blog posts, I discussed the devastating effects which stress can leave on our minds and bodies. You can read about it here. Stress is one of the leading causes of chronic pain. However, it isn’t always necessarily the result of pressure at work or in personal life. Emotional traumas (certain rare and stressful situations in which a person is unable to respond effectively, like witnessing the death of a loved one, surviving a near-fatal car crash, etc.) can result in PTSD, prolonged anxiety, stress, depression, and ultimately, chronic pain.
In this article, I will share with you some profound knowledge about traumas, emotional stress, and chronic pain, and try to establish a connection between the three. By the end of it, you’d be equipped with far better knowledge about this matter and would be able to take necessary actions to change your situation. Let’s begin!
Understanding how emotional trauma and PTSD work
There is an ongoing debate in the medical and psychological community regarding the exact definition of trauma. However, the small description that I gave above is agreed upon by the masses. The immediate symptoms of emotional trauma include numbness, unconsciousness, and cold sweating, among others. If the person develops PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), the overwhelming effects can last for an extended period of time, or until the disorder is treated. Symptoms of PTSD include sudden anxiety/panic attacks, haunting flashbacks of the traumatic event(s), difficulties or inability to socialize, depression, and being on edge even in calm environments. According to research, approximately 15-20% of people suffering from chronic pain have PTSD. This goes to show that
While experiencing a traumatic event, the sympathetic nervous system (responsible for survival instincts) comes into action. If triggered violently, this system has trouble going back to its original state, which is commonly referred to as the parasympathetic nervous system. During the time the sympathetic nervous system is activated, the body produces cortisol (stress hormones) in excess, which results in the blood pressure rising higher than usual. With the sympathetic nervous system being constantly active, the overproduction of cortisol can lead to serious physical and mental complications. Excessive levels of stress hormones can be extremely harmful and result in adrenal fatigue, chronic stress, and prolonged pain. I’ve discussed this in detail in one of my previous blog posts. If you are interested, you can read about it here.
What does all of this have to do with chronic pain?
Emotional traumas can result in chronic stress due to the overproduction of stress hormones. As mentioned above, this can result in complications, the biggest of which is the weakening of the immune system. Due to the inability to fight off diseases and intruders, the person becomes more susceptible to getting sick. Moreover, with the blood pressure rising and the muscles staying tightened for longer than usual (even during danger-free and safe situations), the person starts experiencing aches in certain parts of the body, like the chest, back, and the head, which hardly ever go away.
This is the reason why so many people experience chronic pain, despite having no history of illnesses, injury, and/or surgeries. The main culprits, in their case, are unresolved emotional issues, PTSD, and emotional stress!
Fight chronic pain the way you’re supposed to
Now that you have a slight clue of what might be the root cause of your chronic pain, you can battle it and try to alleviate its effects on your daily life. Here are some tips that I can share with my readers to overcome PTSD, reduce stress, and live a pain-free life:
Meditation has proven to be one of the best remedies for PTSD, stress, and anxiety. And the best part? You can do it in your backyard or living room! Sit down in a quiet place for about half an hour, either on the ground or on a comfortable cushion, relax your mind, and free it from all sorts of thoughts.
Practice deep breathing
Deep breathing calms the mind and rejuvenates your body with much-needed oxygen. To read about deep breathing techniques, click here.
Face your fears
Research has proven that facing your fears is one of the best ways to overcome them. In fact, it is used as a treatment for PTSD by many psychologists.
Traumatic events and their devastating effects can inflict some serious damages on the human mind and body. Considering that it is one of the leading causes of chronic pain, it’s high time that we started taking this problem seriously and creating awareness amongst the masses.
A ray of hope…
If you are suffering from chronic pain which is resulting from past trauma, then I invite you to try my professional pain transformation coaching. Instead of working on your body, I will work WITH your body and provide you with the emotional and physical assistance you need for overcoming pain.