The Perception of Pain

I am writing this in response to a report from my youngest sister – who has been operated on, once again – for her back pain. This time she got a RFA, that decreased the ability of the nerves in her back from sending pain signals to her brain. At least, this is what I think happened.

Back pain is a common psychosomatic problem – and I have seen some very smart people disabled by it. How it works is not hard to explain. Pain signals, like many signals from the body (some are evaluated at a local level) – have to be evaluated by the brain – that decides what to make of them.

This evaluation is effected by the brain’s emotional state – it may decide to pay more attention to some of them, or not. If it decides to pay more attention – a vicious feedback loop may be set up, making the pain much worse. And the Back (a very complicated part of the body) is susceptible to this.

Why my Sister has this pain, I do not know. But I do know she is prone to emotionally induced disorders. She thought she was dying once, and insisted on being taken to an emergency room. Where she was diagnosed with an Asthma attack. She rejected this diagnosis, however, and treated herself with a salve she rubbed on her wrists!

All of the family, except for myself – have overlooked her emotional problems. They have problems of their own, and they have swept them under the rug – and intend to keep them there.


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