New studies have shown that the cause of your chronic pain can very well be caused by stress and emotional trauma and not by physical injury.
Chronic pain is characterized by physical pain that lasts longer than the natural healing process would normally take. People with post-traumatic stress disorder are most at risk.
You probably know that stress can lead to physiological problems such as headache, abdominal pain and an irritable bowel.
What you may not realize is that it can cause other physical problems and chronic pain. One reason for this is that the tense someone is, the more tense they are.
For decades, researchers have been studying the connection between mind and body between emotions and overall health. They found that somewhere between 15 and 30 percent of the patience diagnosed with chronic disease also suffers from PTSD.
Trauma happens “when our ability to respond to a perceived threat is somehow overwhelming,” writes Peter Levine, a trauma expert.
Some researchers disagree with this definition of trauma, but may agree that trauma can cause physiological symptoms such as anesthesia, pain, nightmares, flashbacks, and avoidance behavior.
“Whether or not trauma was related to the event or condition that caused their pain, having a chronic pain state is traumatic in itself,” writes Maggie Phillips, author of Reversing Chronic Pain.
And because our nervous systems go into survival mode during trauma, it can be difficult to recover.
“Research has shown that under normal circumstances many traumatized people, including victims of rape, battered women and abused children, have reasonably good psychosocial adaptation,” says Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, a renowned trauma expert.
“However, they do not respond to stress like other people do. Under pressure they can feel (or act) as if they have been completely traumatized. “
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