Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is defined as pain that persists long after the tissue has healed

Pain is vital to our survival.  Some people are born with a unusual condition that does not allow them to feel pain.  These people rarely live past the age of 25.  This is because pain serves a protective mechanism for us.  We feel pain whenever there is tissue damage or the potential for tissue damage.  For example, when you cut your finger, strain a muscle, or break a bone your body sends signals back to your brain which you perceive as pain.  This pain sensation is a signal to you that something is wrong and needs your attention. Pain has significant survival value, but when an injury has healed and the pain continues, or when pain seems to have no obvious connection to any injury, it no longer serves a useful purpose. Pain of this type is referred to as chronic pain, and once you have fallen under its affect, it may be very difficult to escape.

The Challenge of Pain Management
The management of chronic pain has always been a medical challenge. The traditional medical approach involves increasing doses of a variety of medications until relief is attained. In some instances, the pain is significantly reduced with the use of medication; however when the drugs wear off the pain returns.   The constant need for medications becomes a permanent fixture of life, often resulting in drug dependence or even addiction.  

The Wind Up Cycle
When you are injured and tissue in your body is damaged, the pain receptors in the tissue send a signal along a neuron back to the spinal cord.  That neuron then triggers another neuron, through what is known as a synapse to send another electrical signal to the brain.  The signal is then communicated, through hundreds of synapses to all the different areas of the brain and you perceive the signal as pain.  So the sensation of pain is dependent upon the efficiency of the neurons in communicating the electrical signal from the damaged tissue to the brain.  As more and more pain signals travel along the pain pathway to the brain, the pathway becomes more and more efficient.  It does this by improving the ability of the signal to cross all the synapses.  Under persistent activation, pain transmission may create a “wind up” phenomenon, a reverberating loop that keeps sending the pain message over and over. It is a normal physiological process that improves the body’s ability to communicate the message that “tissue is damaged” to the brain.  As long as there is tissue damage that we need to be aware of, “wind up” is normal.  However, once the tissue has healed and the damage is gone, the “wind up” should “wind down” and go back to normal.  In some individuals the “wind down” never occurs and the pain pathway remains active long after the tissue has healed.  In these people the pain continues beyond the healing and the process becomes pathological.  This is what is happening in the chronic pain patient.

The BrainCore Approach
Keep in mind that the brain is ultimately in charge of how severely the pain is perceived and where it is localized in the body. Pain is not an absolute measure; it varies according to what is going on in the brain. And depending on the way the brain interprets incoming signals, pain may not be correctly scaled to the actual injury, and may persist long after the injury is healed.  The only way to effectively treat this self-reinforcing, self perpetuating cycle is to redefine the way the brain interprets nerve impulses and allow its sensitivity to return to normal levels. Recent clinical outcomes indicate that the technique of BrainCore Therapy can be used to break the cycle and lead to a major decrease or even the total elimination of chronic pain.

BrainCore Therapy focuses on teaching your brain how to regulate itself.  Brain waves are a representation of the way you pay attention, both to the external and internal world. In the case of chronic pain, the brain is paying too much attention and has become over-sensitized. By learning to control your brain waves with the aid of BrainCore Therapy, you can affect the underlying behavior patterns of your attention and return your brain’s pain sensitivity to normal levels.