Reply To: Spreading of pain

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Thanks Beatrice.
We have seen this “spreading” phenomenon for many years, and it happens more commonly than not! It’s the result of positive feedback loops that are triggered by the pain/fear/pain cycle. The more of what I call the “six Fs” (fear of pain, focus on it, fighting it, frustration with it, trying to figure it out, and trying to fix it), then the more severe the pain, the more it spreads, and the more other symptoms begin as well. This positive feedback loop can also occur with stress and emotional distress in people’s lives. These reactions feed back to the danger/alarm mechanism in the brain, which activates more danger.

I explain it to my patients by saying: If you’re talking to someone and they don’t hear you, what do you do? Talk louder, right? So, your brain is sending you messages of dangers and you’re not hearing them as such. You’re not calming the danger signal but reacting in ways that make it need to “speak louder.”

Does that help?
best, Howard