Pain is One Way The Brain Tries to Protect You

Pain Gold Coast

Pain is one way the brain tries to protect you

Pain is one way the brain tries to protect you, there is more to pain than just the structure

Before reading on please keep in mind that this may not be applicable to the pain that you may be experiencing. This blog post is targeted at people who experience long term pain and may have long term troubles with movement or activity.

What happens when we injure ourselves?

Injury > Tissues damaged > Danger message to brain > Brain decides what this means > Reaction

What contributes to our reaction in the brain?

  • Tissue damage – how bad is it?
  • Environment – is this place safe or unsafe?
  • Previous experiences – has something bad like this occurred in the past?
  • Beliefs – what have other people told me about this?
  • Health – am I generally well or unwell currently?
  • Stress – is there a multitude of life events going on at the moment?

What happens next?

 We either get pain or no pain…

Pain is one way that the brain tries to protect you. However, in cases of persistent pain this response goes on for too long and all of a sudden the brain wants to protect you from everything. The body then gets better at producing this pain response and even the smallest activities can cause discomfort. It can also result in pain spreading beyond the injured site. In practice, this means that you may experience pain before you are susceptible to a physical injury. Therefore, you may be sore but you’re often safe from damage.

Common beliefs and how we can overcome this?

If I stop moving and restrict activity it will decrease pain.


This may actually increase the pain because the muscles start to stiffen up.

How to take control:

A. Think of movement (within normal ranges) as healthy, avoid stiffening up and avoiding activities that you really enjoy.

B. Take it easy, but remember your body is designed to move.Take 5 minutes out of your day to focus on your breathing and relaxing all your muscles.

It’s all in my injured site or body part (whether it be your back, knee or shoulder).


Pain is caused by multiple different factors.

How to take control:

A. Consider pain from all aspects

B. Surround yourself with friends and family that lift your mood and help you focus on things other than your pain.

C. Actively engage in activates that you know help to decrease your stress.

D. Maintain a healthy diet with regular exercise.

The more professional opinions the better.


Conflicting opinions from different health practitioners can actually confuse you more about what’s going on and contribute to a longer rehab process.

How to take control:

Avoid receiving conflicting advice from multiple medical practitioners, find a trusted practitioner and allow them to help achieve your goals.

Remember that pain is multidimensional and we often need to consider strategies that extend beyond just the injured structure. We hope this has been informative and helpful.

Written by,

Ashleigh Hamilton

Book an appointment with your healthcare professional