By Dr. Kyla Nelson, DC & Acupuncture Provider

Pain is an incredibly unique experience that serves to protect you from potential dangers. Although unpleasant, it is a completely normal and necessary mechanism that we all need to experience from time to time. Given this, we thought we would share with you a few interesting pain facts from the book “Explain Pain” by David S. Butler and G. Lorimer Moseley!

  • You are not alone! Approximately 20% of people, all over the world, are experiencing pain right now, which has been ongoing for over 3 months!
  • Across the world we consume approximately 100 billion aspirin pills per year! Even more interesting is that the color and shape of a pill tablet plays a role in how well the medication works! For example, they have found that a transparent pill with coloured beads is more effective then a white square tablet.
  • Phantom limb pain is “the experience of pain in a body part that doesn’t exist”. This concept is interesting as it relates back to our “virtual body” or the map of our body we have in our brains. Approximately 70% of individuals who receive amputations experience this sensation. Not only this, but it’s been found that even babies born without a limb have reported phantom limbs. This suggests that our “virtual body” is mapped in our brain before we are even born!
  • Pain is an incredibly unique experience. Pain affects so many different areas of the brain (called “ignition nodes”). These nodes can create a wide range of different sensations, emotions, movements and memories. Each time an individual experiences pain, different combinations of these nodes can be effected, which helps create a different pain experience every time.
  • We have millions of “sensors” throughout our body that survey the body for danger signals (i.e. something that could cause us harm or pain). The life span of a sensor is only a few days, after which a new sensor replaces them. This is great news for individuals with chronic pain – as it suggests that individuals pain sensitivity is not fixed, hence your pain levels can change.

Dr. Kyla Nelson is currently a licensed chiropractor and acupuncture provider at Holland Landing Health Centre in East Gwillimbury, Ontario. If you have more questions about pain you may be experiencing please contact Holland Landing Health Centre at 905-853-7900 or via e-mail at


Butler, David S., and G. Lorimer Moseley. Explain Pain 1st Edn. Noigroup Publications, 2003.



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