Pelvic Pain and Your Brain

By Lorraine Faehndrich

Did you know that X-rays of people who are pain free, can show many of the same abnormalities that are identified as causing pain in chronic pain patients? In fact, imaging findings in asymptomatic patients (people with no pain) show that at age 40, 68% have disc degeneration and 50% have disc bulges. 

How can that be? Why would disc degeneration and disc bulges cause one person pain and not another?

​​​If the physical issue is responsible for the pain, shouldn’t every person who has that issue also have pain?

Similarly, research findings show no connection between the number of endometriosis lesions and level of pain. If the physical issue is responsible for the pain, why is there no connection with pain levels?

On the other hand, we see with phantom limb pain – severe pain that an amputee can feel in a limb that they no longer have. The brain is creating real pain in the absence of even the physical limb. Clearly if pain came from the body this pain wouldn’t exist.

So, where does it come from?

It comes from the brain.

Research in pain neuroscience shows that ALL pain is created in the brain.

Pain is a danger alarm mechanism and it may or may not be connected to what is happening in your body. Many factors go into your brain’s determination of danger, including among other things, how safe you feel in your body, with your emotions, and in your life.

This DOES NOT mean that your pain is “all in your head”, in the dismissive way a medical provider who meant something like “drink some wine and deal with it” might say it.

(And yes, I have had clients whose doctor said exactly that to them.)

The physical pain is real. And at the same time, it is created in the brain.

What does this mean?

It means that if you are focusing all your energy on trying to find or fix something wrong in your body it may very well be a dead end.

There may NOT be something wrong with your body. Or even if there is, it may not be what’s causing the pain.

Your very real physical pain (regardless of whether there is an issue in your body or not) IS coming from your brain, and addressing that is an important part of relieving it.

How do you do that?

First by understanding why your brain creates pain.

As I said, pain serves a protective function. Basically, your brain creates pain based on how much danger it thinks you are in.

This is not a conscious process, and it is based on many factors – like past experiences, current life experiences, past trauma, thoughts, and emotions.

For instance if your brain thinks that your emotions or sexual energy, or your job, or relationships are a threat to you in some way, it will create pain to protect you.

This does not mean that these things are ACTUALLY a threat (they may or may not be), or that the pain is ACTUALLY keeping you safe and protected – in some ways it may be, but in many ways it’s probably interfering with everything in your life! It just means that for some reason your brain is perceiving danger, and this could be based on very old experiences that are no longer relevant.

The good news is that all of this is reversible.

You can teach your brain that you are safe now – that your emotions are safe to feel, that it’s safe to be present in your body, that your sexual energy is safe.

And you can also make the changes in yourself (ie. your thinking) and your life that actually do create safety so that your brain can relax and stop creating pain.

It makes me so angry to talk with women who’ve gone through highly invasive procedures, like surgery, and who are still in pain. They didn’t know that there could be other reasons for the pain before taking drastic measures, and now they are still suffering, in some cases more.

Address the mind body component of your pain first!

It’s completely non-invasive and there are no negative side effects….In fact there are many benefits, like reduced anxiety, more confidence, deeper connection to yourself, and a sense of feeling safe and at home inside your own skin.

It’s not a quick fix, but if there were a quick fix you’d have used it by now. And I can tell you from personal experience, that addressing the mind body components of your pain is a journey worth going on ten times over.

It is a path to freedom and lasting relief.

I invite you to explore it more.

Say Goodbye to Pelvin Pain! Sign up for my FREE EXCLUSIVE On-Demand Masterclass today.


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