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Why you hurt


Pain is the alarm system of the body. It tells you when there is danger.


Imagine you step on a lego. What happens?


Well it hurts - but do you know what Is happening in your body?

  • Nerve fibers in your foot send a message up to your brain

  • Your brain processes the information and sends danger messages down the nerves that travel to your foot

  • Those nerves lead to your sensation of pain

  • You pull your foot away so you don’t cause injury by continuing to stand on the lego (and you know to look and see if there is any injury…or if there are more legos)


These types of pain experiences - it might be stepping on a lego, touching a hot stove, stubbing your toe, stepping on a nail, etc. - are what pain is designed for to alert you of danger.


Pain is the result of your body’s alarm system going off. Immediate pain can be a good thing - your body is protecting you from a threat.


Did you know —> we have strong evidence that tissues heal in 3-6 months. But pain may decrease sooner, or may persist longer. Pain is not correlated to tissue damage.


Sometimes the alarm system can become extra sensitive, which means you are more likely to have pain.


Many things can lead to your having an extra sensitive alarm system:

  • Not understanding what is going on

  • Other treatments that haven’t worked

  • Having pain for a long time

  • Anxiety and stress

You might be thinking - “just having pain makes me feel stressed and anxious!” That’s a common experience.


Even though pain and stress can spiral in a negative way, they can also “spiral in a good way” so you can regain control.


But how? You can do this by calming your nervous system. You can recognize that you cannot eliminate all of the stressors in your life and that you cannot eliminate all pain from your life (remember, you have learned pain is a survival mechanism), and you can take simple actions to reduce the impact that they have on your life.

Things you can do to calm the nervous system include:

  • Exercise

  • Relaxation, breathing, meditation

  • Mindfulness

  • Sleep

  • Pacing your daily activities

  • And more…every body’s science is different so each individual will have different strategies that work for them

If you are wondering if a sensitive nervous system (alarm system) may be contributing to your pain, and how you can start to “spiral in a good way” I would love to set up a complimentary strategy call with you. I’d love to hear your story and better understand what you are going through to help me better serve you.


There is no pressure to get in touch with me; I’m always here to talk. But if you are looking for change and are ready, I’m here, and it is time to help you feel better. Schedule your strategy call by emailing katie@kmoulisonpt.com or cal/text (978) 631-0644. You can also click the “contact me” button at the top of this page.


Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for educational and informational purposes only and solely as a self-help tool for your own use.


Reference list:

Louw A, Puentadura E, Schmidt S, Zimney K. Pain Neuroscience Education: Teaching People About Pain. 2nd ed. Minneapolis, MN: OPTP; 2018.

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Email: katie@kmoulisonpt.com

Tel: (978) 631-0644

Fax: (978) 267-6634

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