Have you ever been in pain and then applied pressure to the area and felt better? Most of us have experienced this at some point in our lives. But what is happening when we do this? How does applying pressure relieve the pain in an area? And is it more than just a temporary solution? In this blog post, we will explore these questions and more!
To understand this we need to look a little bit into how a nerve is formed and functions. Nerves in our body carry the sensation of pain and pressure up to the brain, where the brain perceives it and we feel that particular sensation. The structure of a nerve is like an electric wire. When you cut it open it is made of several tiny wires. These tiny wires are the nerve fibres and every single nerve fibre carries a different sensation to the brain, namely pain, pressure, burning, tingling, numbness etc.
There is an interesting concept of Pain Gate mechanism at the level of the brain. In theory, this means that only one sensation can be perceived by the brain at a time, much like one sensation being able to 'pass' through the 'gate' at one time. The sensation of pressure gets precedence over the sensation of pain according to the pain gate mechanism and this is the reason why applying pressure to an area brings down the pain by a few notches. It is not that the brain can feel the pain it is just that when you apply pressure on a particular area, the brain starts to focus more on the sensation of pressure and less on pain. That is how applying pressure can actually relieve pain to a certain extent. This is also one of the theories behind deep tissue massage and trigger point therapy.
So, the next time you have a headache or a muscle pain, instead of reaching for the painkillers, try applying pressure to the area and see if it works for you! It is a natural way to relieve pain and is also much more effective than most people think. Give it a shot and see how it works for you!
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