We are human beings, and by nature, we have a complex array of experiences, emotions, and we have really complex bodies. One of those experiences we have is pain, which is often tied to emotion. When we experience pain, it can mean a variety of different things.
One concept to really understand is hurt vs harm. Just because we feel pain (hurt), doesn’t mean there is any actual damage happening to our body (harm).
How does this work? Keep reading to learn more.
For example, if your friend pinches you on your shoulder, it hurts while it’s happening, but once they stop pinching you, the pain goes away and there is no actual damage to your tissues. This is “hurt” and it helps to protect us from getting to the point where actual damage would occur.
This means that pain is our body’s alarm system and the system will sound off to warn us that danger may be coming.
“Harm” is when you experience pain and there is actual damage to your tissue. An example could be when you sprain your ankle. The movement causing the ankle sprain typically happens in an instant, is very painful, and can stretch or even tear some of the tissues in the area. Pain also lingers after the injury happens because the tissue is damaged and now needs to heal.
So what we can take away from this concept is that hurt doesn’t always equal harm. Sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn’t. As humans, we can experience pain without actual damage happening to our bodies.
Pain is our body’s alert system and helps to draw our attention to the issue and address it appropriately, whether that’s to tell your friend to stop pinching you, or to get treatment for your sprained ankle.
Looking for a qualified physical therapist in downtown Milwaukee to treat your pain? Contact us here to schedule an appointment.