View Full Version : The Psychological Causes of Physical Pain


SB_UK
05-22-13, 03:42 PM
Jeez, leave your guys with my thread for a couple of weeks and you get it closed! ;)

Fairly convinced that (in the vast majority of cases) stress underlies systemic inflammation and systemic pain.
That the stress is predominantly psychological in nature.
That to identify what is causing the psychological stress - we need to ask what the psychological construct (mind) wants.
It (the prime directive of mind) wants to be moral.

So psych. stress from forced immoral behaviour (having anything to do with money, societal hierarchy, enforcing inequality) -> leads to -> psych. stress -> primes the body for systemic inflammation/systemic pain.
And to quell the pain - we turn to stress relief (eating meat and potato pies, cooked in whisky with cigarettes coated with cocaine sticking out of the pastry) - which increases the stress we're under.

Another way of looking at it - is what is there to live for (what is there to look forward to) in this mindless world of only immorality, only materialism, only living for competitive success against one's fellow man (ie a reward system which requires other people to suffer in order to get one's kicks) ... ... anybody with a mind 'd be overcome with stress at the prospect of continuing on in that form of world - because there's nothing imaginable to look forwards to - absolutely nothing (in that world) which might inspire one into getting out of bed in the morning ... ...

So - I would suggest that the major cause of pain in man - is having (in the vast majority of cases - and regardless of whether people have actually worked it out for themselves) absolutely nothing motivational (vaguely interesting) to look forwards to.

It's a bit like people all people are swallowing a pain pill first thing in the morning - and so continue to do so - not realising (through habit and since everybody's doing the same) that they're free not to take the pill.

So - the default state - for people without a mind - is to use money (ie basic drug seeking behaviours) to motivate the individual towards waking up in the morning and 'getting to' some task - that is - there's nothing like 'cold turkey' to propel one towards seeking out that next hit of heroin/money/pay-rise/new job title/latest model of sportscar ... ... but the individual is drawing on an addictive and not a moral motivation - to get 'em out of bed - and the addictive motivation destroys the individual - in exactly the manner that we see in those addicted to hard drugs.

-*-

So - the basis to pain - in the majority of cases - 'd be gaining motivation through neural circuitry addicted through classical addiction as opposed to gaining motivation through neural circuitry which is activated by moral/social/rational behaviours ... ... the addicted eat themselves to death - whilst the moral - imprisoned in a world dominated by those that are addicted (to money,power,ownership) - through the psych. stress of our predicament - also succumb to stress-based illness.

Nobody gets to win in an immoral monetary based economy.

SB_UK
05-22-13, 04:05 PM
Or - using much simpler languuage - if an individual with a mind looks closely at what life in thicko money world involves - s/he'll see that currently (and not in the forseeable future either) is there anything worth living for.

How stressful is that ?

I think that the single most important intervention to decrease the systemic inflammation / pain felt the world around - currently ... ... 'd be a novel infrastructure which avails of man - a range of activities which man finds motivational - that is - that man wants to do -

- which serve to get 'man' out of bed in the morning - so enthused is the individual about getting to it.

Though - at the very least - and if we can't arrange a world in which people are positively enthused - we need a world in which people are not stressed at the prospect of doing what they're required to do - in order to afford the minimum necessary to survive (food and shelter).

So - a novel societal infrastructure which enforces the individual's right to live a moral life (a life which is not immoral to the letter of their own moral compass) is the absolute minimum necessary to prevent the diseases of inflammation/pain which're sweeping the globe.

SB_UK
05-22-13, 04:09 PM
Over the last 4 months when things have been really bad I've been taking nurofen plus. Never more that 2 doses in one day and not every day but still a signicant amount compared to normal. Anyway the doc checked my blood pressure and it was 144 over 99. Ibuprophen causes elevated blood pressure. High blood pressure increases inflammation and puts you at risk of cardiovascular disease. Now I really need to find some alternative pain relief :(

Cortisol leads to sodium / water retention - increases blood pressure - also.

MellyFishButt
05-22-13, 06:04 PM
SB_UK, in the times most recently while I am being forced (by myself, kind of) to detox off my pain pills, I too came to the same conclusion. Ultimately I think I mechanically screwed by back up but dealing with the work stress amplified it and it moved. Interestingly my PT asked if anyone had asked me about fibro and I laughed. I just need less stress at this point.

As for societal restraints, I also have to agree in my case. I am confounded by a need to fix what is broken at my job when ultimately it can't be fixed by me and therefore my mind takes it out on my body. Right now I literally have no goals and it is becoming a bigger hinderance to my mental and physical well being than anything else is. I have a long appt with my therapist tomorrow and hopefully she will be able to help me untangle all of the obligatory pain I feel about my place in the world. All I know is that I now want, nay need, a much smaller and quieter life. Where money fits into that, I have no clue.

Kunga Dorji
05-22-13, 07:59 PM
As a response to SB's comments from the previous thread:
So - the idea's as simple as:

Stress leads to cortisol production.
(Chronic) cortisol production leads to Cortisol resistance.
Cortisol resistance (as a mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid) prevents bodily pH maintenance.
A body which isn't being restored immediately to the correct pH level - is a body which isn't far from inflammation/pain.

The idea's all over the internet: eg " Use a pH Test To Help Defeat Pain and Inflammation" - which, of course, doesn't make the idea correct - but, it at least makes the point - that other people have had the same idea.

Sadly - their conclusion appears to be to alkalize with products 1,2,3 etc ... ... but I don't think that'd work.
It's a bit like trying to pH a solution with a broken pH meter - and hoping that if you slosh some alkali in - the pH that is attained 'll be correct.
Thing is - that it may be better than nothing - but there is no substitute for the pH meter being fully operational.

For that we require a societal infrastructure which doesn't result in chronic stress (so an elimination of money) - and then (and only then) the use of a certain profile of foods (ketogenic vegan) which have been scientifically proven to result in minimal changes to blood pH - we aren't required to 'trouble' cortisol (which results in metabolic alkalosis) - because we're in alkaline territory, if we stick to a green veggie diet.

So - no cortisol production through a fair societal infrastructure [because you're not stressed].
No cortisol production through a lovely green diet [because you're not driving acidic ash production].
No cortisol production - through electing for a particular type of exercise (anaerobic extreme drives us into acidic territory) [because you're not driving lactic acid production but are driving hyperventilation which results in metabolic alkalosis].

It would be interesting to see :-) how the body could develop cortisol resistance in the close to absence of cortisol production - observed through following this profile of lifestyle.

It's also important to note - how much info - the internet around (including classical scientific lit) seems to suggest that anti-oxidants are good.
Surely - an alkaline bodily pH 'd be the ultimate anti-oxidant.

Why ? 'cos those nasty acidic reactive oxygen free radicals 'd just be slurped out of existence in an invariant alkaline milieu.
No more of chasing food with high anti-oxidant levels - or at least chasing those foods secondarily to establishing the body's ultimate defence (an alkaline pH) against free radical formation ... ...
we're given insight into the dominant model of fighting ageing (the free radivcal theory) - and that through generation of a fair society (one in which there is no hierarchy) - we can slow down agein - at least to the extent that the individual does not fall to sickness prior to dropping down dead.

We're all gonna' die - that isn't a problem - the problem is living a life of pain prior to death - and that - thanks to the inflammatory reactions which kick off in childhood (allergy,asthma) - and which extend their reach with age - is exactly what we're doing.


Part way there but not 100% right.
Cortisol is, of course a necessary hormone for all kind of mobilisation responses, including getting up in the morning and playing vigorous games. Addison's disease (failure of cortisol production) is rapidly fatal if untreated.
Of course the "norms" of diurnal cortisol production are based on "whole society" measures, which fail to account for the endemic stress in our society.
pH (especially the acid load of our diet) is almost certainly of some relevance- but hard to know just how relevant given the good health of the Inuit population (virtually pure carnivores) prior to the influence of Western Civilisation.
Inflammatory responses are also connected to the stress response- which skews the balance of the inflammatory response too.

Kunga Dorji
05-22-13, 08:09 PM
Fairly convinced that (in the vast majority of cases) stress underlies systemic inflammation and systemic pain.
That the stress is predominantly psychological in nature.


The stress response is very important in pain.
Note that as well as inflammation, it also induces muscle tension.

I can shed a little light on this- as there are physiological causes of stress:
1) Insufficient exercise.
2) Minor brainstem injuries, or upper cervical muscle spasm associated with upper cervical injuries can disturb our sense of balance.
This is a stressor in itself, as for an organism to feel "safe" in the world, it needs to know its precise physical location with regard to both food, predators, and allies/mates.
3) Forwards head carriage (the chin poke posture) related to 1) 2) and excess computer use drives the autonomic nervous system into a state of sympathetic dominance.
4) The process of analytical, left brain thinking, in itself and of itself generates hypotheses faster than they can be answered, and that too induces a stress state. Again- computer time, intellect, analysis all push us in a treacherous direction.

5) Finally, the physiological stress response induced by the above factors does (via mirror neurones) induce a stress response in others- and that makes a feedback loop of negative experience.
Note here that contemplative practices do balance left and right brain activity much better than being an academic.

Blanched Dubois
05-22-13, 09:29 PM
Research may help explain why some people are more vulnerable to drug abuse when they're under stress or suffer chronic pain
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- For years, the brain chemical dopamine has been thought of as the brain's "pleasure chemical," sending signals between brain cells in a way that rewards a person or animal for one activity or another. More recently, research has shown that certain drugs like cocaine and heroin amplify this effect – an action that may lie at the heart of drug addiction.

Now, a new study from the University of Michigan adds a new twist to dopamine's fun-loving reputation: pain.

Using sophisticated brain-scanning and a carefully controlled way of inducing muscle pain, the researchers show that the brain's dopamine system is highly active while someone experiences pain – and that this response varies between individuals in a way that relates directly to how the pain makes them feel. It's the first time that dopamine has been linked to pain response in humans.

The finding, published in the October 18 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, may help explain why people are more likely to acquire a drug addiction during times of intense stress in their lives. It may also yield clues to why some, but not other chronic pain patients may be prone to developing addictions to certain pain medications. And, it gives further evidence that vulnerability to drug addiction is a very individual phenomenon – and one that can't be predicted by current knowledge of genetics and physiology.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-10/uomh-pap101806.php

Kunga Dorji
05-22-13, 09:47 PM
The stress response is very important in pain.
Note that as well as inflammation, it also induces muscle tension.

I can shed a little light on this- as there are physiological causes of stress:
1) Insufficient exercise.
2) Minor brainstem injuries, or upper cervical muscle spasm associated with upper cervical injuries can disturb our sense of balance.
This is a stressor in itself, as for an organism to feel "safe" in the world, it needs to know its precise physical location with regard to both food, predators, and allies/mates.
3) Forwards head carriage (the chin poke posture) related to 1) 2) and excess computer use drives the autonomic nervous system into a state of sympathetic dominance.
4) The process of analytical, left brain thinking, in itself and of itself generates hypotheses faster than they can be answered, and that too induces a stress state. Again- computer time, intellect, analysis all push us in a treacherous direction.

5) Finally, the physiological stress response induced by the above factors does (via mirror neurones) induce a stress response in others- and that makes a feedback loop of negative experience.
Note here that contemplative practices do balance left and right brain activity much better than being an academic.

I would add to that a couple of other points
- obstetric evidence pointing to Western birthing practices as a major cause of these upper cervical injuries (see Biedermann et al: Manual Therapy in Children). Biedermann is a Belgian Orthopedics professor, and the obstetric chapter was written by an obstetrician.
- that the obviously more stressful current social conditions compound this problem
So we are looking at a real mix of psychological and physiological contributors to a physiological stress state.

Kunga Dorji
05-22-13, 09:53 PM
Research may help explain why some people are more vulnerable to drug abuse when they're under stress or suffer chronic pain
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- For years, the brain chemical dopamine has been thought of as the brain's "pleasure chemical," sending signals between brain cells in a way that rewards a person or animal for one activity or another. More recently, research has shown that certain drugs like cocaine and heroin amplify this effect – an action that may lie at the heart of drug addiction.

Now, a new study from the University of Michigan adds a new twist to dopamine's fun-loving reputation: pain.

Using sophisticated brain-scanning and a carefully controlled way of inducing muscle pain, the researchers show that the brain's dopamine system is highly active while someone experiences pain – and that this response varies between individuals in a way that relates directly to how the pain makes them feel. It's the first time that dopamine has been linked to pain response in humans.

The finding, published in the October 18 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, may help explain why people are more likely to acquire a drug addiction during times of intense stress in their lives. It may also yield clues to why some, but not other chronic pain patients may be prone to developing addictions to certain pain medications. And, it gives further evidence that vulnerability to drug addiction is a very individual phenomenon – and one that can't be predicted by current knowledge of genetics and physiology.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-10/uomh-pap101806.php

The punchline of that article is this:

"It appears from our study that dopamine acts as an interface between stress, pain and emotions, or between physical and emotional events, and that it's activated with both positive and negative stimuli," says senior author Jon-Kar Zubieta, M.D., Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and radiology at the U-M Medical School and a member of the U-M Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute and U-M Depression Center. "It appears to act as a mechanism that responds to the salience of a stimuli – the importance of it to the individual – and makes it relevant for them to respond to."


So dopamine is much more associated with pathways that orient us to the relevance of a stimulus. The old "reward pathway" model is looking rather dated now.

There are also noradrenergic brainstem pathways that enhance the experience of pain when under stress.

The locus coeruleus is a nucleus in the brainstem that, among other things maintains alertness (consciousness is not possible if it is destroyed).
One of the inputs to it comes from the sympathetic nervous system.
Sympathetic stimulation of the LC increases alertness/vigilance (hence impairs sleep), enhances nociception (pain perception) and increases metabolic rate. Sleep deprivation also impairs gating of irrelevant sensory stimuli fro consciousness ( and that is easily verified by anyone who has ever had a bad night).

ref:
Current Neuropharmacology, 2008, 6, 235-253 235


Functional Neuroanatomy of the Noradrenergic Locus Coeruleus: Its Roles in the Regulation of Arousal and Autonomic Function Part I: Principles of Functional Organisation
E. R. Samuels and E. Szabadi*



(This can be found on the web as a free download).
What troubles me is that so much of this research seems to be conducted by people unaware of "prior art" in closely related fields.
Hyperspecialisation is having some undesirable effects.

The other big point to be thinking of here is to consider functional neuronal loops rather than neurotransmitters per se.

In my case the issue has been pretty well defined as underfiring of the inputs to the dopaminergic pathways rather than a fundamentally hypodopaminergic state.
I would guess that that would apply to any ADDers who show a strong "hyperfocus" ability- as i always have.

SB_UK
05-23-13, 03:36 AM
Stress-induced physiological reactivity has been shown to correlate with indexes of pain sensitivity ...
... ... during psychological stress may contribute to increased sensitivity to subsequent painful stimulation.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9085297

Phys/Psych stress decreases the body's pain threashold - makes the individual pain sensitive.

SB_UK
05-23-13, 03:38 AM
So - anybody have any guesses how to ease chronic pain ?

(Psych) stress -> leads to -> pain sensitivity

So eliminating what ?? 'd lead to reduced sensitivty to pain 'd lead to recuperation from chronic pain.

The thread is about strategies which'd aid recuperation from chronic pain.

How do you eliminate psych. stress ?

Well - first we need to ask what is a psych (mind) and what does it want ?

Fail to do what a psych (mind - the agent of morality) wants and you'll stress the psych.

Not too sure how to make this idea any more simple.

SB_UK
05-23-13, 03:17 PM
IbuprofenwikiP/ibuprofenNonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen work by inhibiting the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX), which converts arachidonic acid ->- to ->- prostaglandin H2 (PGH2). PGH2, in turn, is converted by other enzymes to several other prostaglandins (which are mediators of pain, inflammation, and fever) and to thromboxane A2 (which stimulates platelet aggregation, leading to the formation of blood clots).So - from a previous thread

massive intake of omega-6 oils in the Western diet
+
massive production of Insulin in the Western diet to huge animal protein loads, sugar and starch
->-
Arachidonic acid (which is only natively present in animal products)
->- via COX ->-
INFLAMMATION

... and so ... ? we can reduce pain by [1] Eliminating omega-6 oils from the diet [2] Eliminating hyperglycaemic foods [3] Eliminating animal products

... ... however (sadly) - we're still left with some omega-6 in nuts/seed and some level of insulin production from the low glycaemic carbs and proteins (reduced in vegan wholefood protein and presumably reduced if we eat spread protein intake throughout the day) we eat ... ... but (and just as a suggestion) - if we separate wholefood omega-6 supply (nuts/seeds) from carbs/protein (veggies/tempeh) - wouldn't that go some towards shutting down the pathway which the pharmaceutical corporation's COX inhibitors are all so unhealthfully inhibiting ?

Critics describe the rise and fall of Vioxx as a cautionary tale of masterful public relations, aggressive marketing and ineffective regulation.

SB_UK
05-23-13, 03:41 PM
... ...and to thromboxane A2 (which stimulates platelet aggregation, leading to the formation of blood clots).

Linking to Deep Vein Thrombosis.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22278047

Inflammatory biomarkers of DVT, include interleukin (IL)-6, CRP, IL-8, and monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP-1).http://www.nutritionmd.org/health_care_providers/cardiovascular/dvt_nutrition.html
DVT is rare in societies where diets are primarily based on unrefined plant foods, rather than on animal products or highly refined foods ... ...Why ?
High fibre or Low saturated fat or Low omega-6 oils or No animal-derived cholesterol or No animal-derived arachidonic acid or ... or ... or ...

What a nightmare - to try and take the average Western lifestyle - consisting of so so many epidemiologically proven unhealthy behaviours - and to try and work out which is leading to what ?

I can't see anybody coming to any conclusion other than it's the convergence of all of these factors which results in poor health.

There is, though, just 1 basic factor underlying all of the unhealthy behaviours man engages in - and that's stress caused by the global monetary based economy.

Would we be pouring death down each other's throats in a world without money ?

I don't think so - but even if we did still bear an attraction for meat and potato white flour sugar and aspartame MSG filled nicotine sprinked alcohol injected mercury-fed duck gizzards ... ... it'd be nice to think that we've accumulated enough information now - to realise that a stre$$-less existence in which we eat real food and exercise a little ... ... is about all we need to be happy healthy bunny rabbits.

SB_UK
05-23-13, 04:00 PM
pH (especially the acid load of our diet) is almost certainly of some relevance- but hard to know just how relevant given the good health of the Inuit population (virtually pure carnivores) prior to the influence of Western Civilisation.


I think the argument being used on Nutrition facts (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/dead-meat-bacteria-endotoxemia/) - is that the inflammatory reaction being fired off by animal (and also processed vegetables) is caused by the build up of the (gram negative) bacteria of decay hitching into the body - and driving an LPS non-specific systemic inflammatory reaction.

The Inuit would eat their meat fresh (I guess) - and if it's cold - then the gram neg bacteria won't have a chance to grab ahold and kick off the decay process.

I don'k know that that Inuit model can be replicated anywhere else.

The freezer-like outside temperature, catching your own food, fresh preparation of recently killed animals - and then there's their omega-3 rich element to their diet - which we're being screamed at from every angle - is anti-inflammatory.

There's also - the more general difference in fatty acid composition in their diet:
"The solution to the paradox may lie in the fact that not all fat is created equal. “[The Inuit] ate a lot of marine animals, like walruses and seals, whales and so forth, and the blubber of these animals is a very high source of monounsaturated fat,”says Cordain. “So if you contrast the Inuit diet to the Western diet, it actually turns out to be lower in saturated fat- very high in fat, but high in healthful fat, monounsaturates and polyunsaturates, high in a specific type of polyunsaturates called omega-3 fatty acids that come from the marine food chain.""

So ... we can do MUFA-rich using olives,avocados ... we can do polyunsaturated oils with cold pressed vegetable oils - and we can do omega-3 with linseed ... ... but - we can't maintain saturated fat -- knocking out all of the animal products which are to be found in the Western diet.

The info I took away from the endotoxin idea - was that Gram negative bacteria, saturated fat and cholesterol acting via the Toll-like receptor system was to blame for driving systemic inflammation.

Not sure if that's the right 'take' - but the low level of saturated fat / low level of decay in the animals eaten in the Inuit diet - might explain why (ie since there's no pro-inflammatory state being driven) - they're not becoming sick from their diet.

But - their profile of food isn't an option for the Westerner.

SB_UK
05-23-13, 04:01 PM
Aarghhh! Not to mention the state of ketosis (which I keep going on about) - which the Inuit maintained - and which I'm 99% certain is a healthy state to be in.

SB_UK
05-23-13, 04:06 PM
It's at times like these that I default to my trusty Mount Athos population.

Ketogenic vegan - through next to no food intake.
Unmanageable stress-less existence through no money/social hierarchy.
Sufficient exercise and sun exposure.

Manageble stress-ful existence through little sleep, little eating, frequent fasting.

The trick appears to be enough ... ... but not too much stress.

Telling the difference is tough - and requries the trusty epidemiologist.

If it extends life - then no matter how unpleasant - it's on the manageable stress side and should be practiced.
If it curtails life - then no matter how pleasant - it's on the unmanageable stress side and should not be practiced.

So - if the green leafy vegetable is your friend - then make the epiidemiologist your second best friend ... ... and ideally try and get one that does both.

tudorose
05-24-13, 07:10 AM
To me the psychological causes of physical pain come down to a few things: Stress, Anger, Grief, FEAR.

And what makes it hard is when you have something like PTSD when you do get scared it's like your body automatically re-lives the event completely against your will. I don't get flashbacks so much any more but I do experience the physical symptoms that go with it and it take weeks if not months to recover from.

This latest flare of Fibromyalgia was triggered by something that freaked me out back in February followed by a series of stressful events. Still waiting for it to pass.

I wouldn't say that any of the stress that I experience is in pursuit of money. It's more about control and feeling that I have none.