Is Pain Shrinking Your Brain?

Posted on Apr 12, 2020


New research shows that long-term pain may actually shrink the brain. Do you know anybody who is suffering with chronic pain? Oftentimes, those with chronic pain experience attention problems.

If you’re hurting, it’s going to be harder to concentrate on tasks at hand… after all, the pain is unbearable! Chronic pain, especially lower back pain, can often be linked to the brain.

Research studies looked at imaging taken over 15 years to show activity in various brain regions when people felt pain. What did these studies find? Pain activates the somatosensory cortex as well as messes with a person’s mood, attention and anxiety. People who took medications and/or substances (like excessive alcohol or opioids) had reduced gray matter in their brains– essentially “shrinking their brains.” This shrinkage was also thought to be caused by overuse atrophy, whereas the brain had to work hard to deal with the pain and therefore wore itself out, hence shrinking…

So, for those of you with lower back pain thinking it’s “all in your back,” realize this– it’s also connected to your brain. A brain dealing with pain may age up to 20 times faster than normal… and shrink up to 11%. For more information about this, you’d want to check research done by Northwestern University researchers.

Interestingly, researchers noticed the part of the brain that shrinks is responsible for memory and information processing– so no wonder it’s harder for people with chronic pain to concentrate, focus, and remember things.

The longer a person deals with chronic pain, the more brain loss they’ll likely experience.

If you’ve been having chronic pain and haven’t done anything about it, or you find yourself medicating without great results, consider chiropractic care. A visit to Lakewoods Chiropractic in Forest Lake, MN, could help you find some much needed natural relief. Please call Lakewoods Chiropractic at 651-464-0800 to make an appointment or email info@lakewoodschiropractic.com.

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Lakewoods Chiropractic
Lakewoods Chiropractic
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SALLY DETLEFSEN
SALLY DETLEFSEN
September 26, 2022.
I am amazed at how much better I feel since coming to Lakewoods. The doctors and staff are amazing.
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Lukas Drayna
Lukas Drayna
September 21, 2022.
Great friendly staff. They focus on the target area’s to ensure your body is happy and healthy !
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Michael F.
Michael F.
September 13, 2022.
Lakewoods Chiropractic is awesome. Friendly, welcoming, and professional Environment. They make you feel comfortable. Definitely recommend Lakewoods. I'm well on the road to recovery. Keep up the good work.
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tone2403
tone2403
August 30, 2022.
Definitely recommend Lakewoods. When I went in I was in very rough shape. After a few weeks of adjustments I'm feeling better then ever. Great staff and very knowledgeable. They take the time to really make you understand the process.
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Eric Russell
Eric Russell
August 25, 2022.
Jason and his staff are the best. Since my 1st visit, they always informed on your progress and had your health as #1 priority.
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Angel L Colon Jr
August 11, 2022.
Excellent service, friendly accommodating staff. Awesome family friendly services. Highly recommend!!!
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Carrie Davis
Carrie Davis
August 3, 2022.
By far the best chiropractor I’ve ever used. They customize a plan just for you and don’t use a one size fits all approach. I wouldn’t recommend anyone else!! Thank you!!!
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Justin W
Justin W
July 28, 2022.
Great place!
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Jennifer Thelen
Jennifer Thelen
July 21, 2022.
I have been experiencing low back pain for at least 10 rememberable years and decided on a whim to try chiropractic care at Lakewoods. I had never been to a chiropractor before so I had no expectations that it would work or not but after just my first adjustment I had instant relief for the first time in 10 years. I have since been super impressed with how everything has been explained to me and how my care plan has been formed. The staff are all very kind and have been very helpful as well!
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