There is nothing like the busyness and stress of everything about Christmas to bring on your usual back and neck pain or cause that little niggle over the past few months to suddenly become incredibly problematic.
When pain is the last thing you need during a stressful time, it will always seem to flare up. WHY?
Pain is produced in the brain, not from the body part that hurts!
There is no such thing as a ‘pain’ nerve. The nerves in your body tell you ‘something’ has happened as they relay information to the brain about touch, heat, pressure, vibration or chemicals. All of this information travels via the nervous system from your body and into the brain.
The brain then takes this information and within milliseconds tries to make a sensible interpretation of it all.
This interpretation depends on:
In addition to feeling a ‘Pain,’ December can be a perfect storm where a combination of smaller events can all add up to hit your threshold.
You might just feel a familiar ache in the buttock, pain into your arm or your normal stiff neck with a bit of a headache. But it is not intense or severe, it will be fine
But then you add:
OMG December is expensive $$$ drinks at Christmas Parties $$$ presents $$$ Holidays.
Christmas Family Stress
Whose house this year; navigating family arrangements; last time we met at Christmas #######, I always do the cooking and the other family bring shop desserts; I hate being in the room with ……
Loss of Healthy Routines
No healthy food at parties, too much drinking, too hungover to exercise, too many late nights.
4 weeks’ work needs to be finished in 3 weeks, wasted time with hangovers, kids Christmas concerts you have to go to, out most nights with end of year dinners.
The Nervous System can become more sensitive if your brain decides that the signals it has received is a problem and thinks your body is in danger. The brain will then increase its focus on this body part and in turn the nerves send more signals to the brain. This is like turning up the volume and amplifying your pain.
Alternatively, if you understand that your pain is influenced by the fact that you are tired, that you haven’t exercised for a week, that you are hung over, that the credit card bill is high……your brain can turn down the volume of your pain.
As you can see, Pain = Damage.
The same amount of ‘damage’ can cause high or low levels of pain depending on external stressors.
So remember, in this hectic month of December:
Enjoy Christmas and the New Year for what it is!
Merry Christmas and we wish you a Happy and Healthy 2019!