A quick Analogy of Pain and our Brain

February 21, 2020

You may have watched those movies which have involved a character in the surveillance room, watching all the screens, overseeing a facility such as a top secret labratory, or in the Dark Knight’s case, everywhere.

When I attempt to explain how pain works (because the person in front of me is usually grimacing or hunched over) I may use a few analogies. This one has been floating in between my ears for a while. So – imagine that the person watching all the screens is your brain. Its receiving information from the screens – which represents basically all your feedback systems in the body. The facility that the screens are monitoring – is your body.

As an example, if something happens in your lower back, this is akin to something like the Joker wreaking havoc in the city. Once the person watching on the screens sees the Joker wreaking havoc they will act immediately to protect that area. In other words your brain will try to protect the area. That’s your muscles spasming, and maybe one reason why you are in a lot of pain!

So in order to stop the spasms we need to give the right signals to tell the brain to unlock the muscles. These signals vary considerably from person to person. It may be gentle movement, strengthening, “rehab”type drills, foam rolling, a burly gorilla kissing your back – you get the point. I’m sure its flawed and incomplete, but its a nice way to explain that pain doesn’t always mean damage!
Though lets not lie – if you strain a hamstring muscle, there’s some damage. TL:DR; pain is complex and hard to explain, and no-one has all the answers.


If this helps or if you would like to know more, let us know!