An extra sensitive alarm system can create havoc in your life.
Before you had pain, you had plenty of room for movement and activities before you felt pain. Maybe you could clean your entire house in a single afternoon. Perhaps you could easily hike seven miles in to a picnic spot, enjoy your lunch, and hike back out. Maybe a three-mile walk or a five-mile run was part of your normal workout.
But since, you've had pain, it takes two or three days to get the house clean, a two-mile hike leaves you with muscle spasms, your daily walk has diminished to ten or fifteen minutes around your neighborhood and your back is screaming at you. It seems to take far less movement before you start feeling pain. These limitations are not necessarily due to injury or tissue damage, but to an overly active alarm system.
Think of the alarm system at your home. It's set to go off if someone tries to break in through a window. It's there to warn you of danger. But what happens if the alarm goes off every time a leaf blows by that window. Is there really danger present? No, the alarm is just too sensitive. Your body's alarm system, your nervous system, works the same way.
Next week we will look at some reasons why this can happen.