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The Effect of (Chronic) Pain on the Brain

The brain’s first core principle is to PRIORITISE SURVIVAL.  🧠⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Ever noticed that when you are in pain (acute or chronic) you are more reactive to others, you react stronger on stimulants, you are more irritable, your vision is not as good as usual, or your appetite is not as big as usual?  🧠⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Pain means stress for the body. When the body is in pain, the brain is focussing on survival. The main brain activation is in the brain stem, the oldest part of the brain that is responsible for the autonomic functions and our survival mechanisms. The brain thus sends the respective messages to the autonomic nervous system, which prepares your body to fight or flight.  🧠⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Simultaneously the prefrontal cortex - where analytical thinking takes place - is basically switched off. As the body pumps more blood to the big muscles, there is less circulation in the brain, which can result in blurry vision or feeling light-headed. 🧠👁👀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀


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