The PAIN DRAIN...Can Having Pain Affect Your Energy?

Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of people tell me they feel absolutely DRAINED of energy. It seems to be the people who’ve been dealing with pain for several months. They tell me it takes way more effort to carry out simple tasks and now they don’t even feel like doing things that used to make them happy. Why is this happening? Is it a total coincidence that they’ve also been suffering with pain?

Definitely not.

Having pain (especially chronic pain) can suck your energy dry. Sometimes this is from changes in your mood, but it can also take a toll on your physical health as well. When your brain first perceives pain, a lot of things start to happen. Let’s take one’s lower back for instance.

As what often triggers back pain, let’s say someone goes to lift an object using poor body mechanics and they feel an immediate surge of pain. What happens “behind the scenes” will set the stage for how your body will respond in the days, weeks and months that follow.

First, the inflammatory process sets in to try and repair the damaged area. Then, as you continue to experience pain, LOCAL muscles begin to “shut down” and your body may rely more heavily on what we call GLOBAL muscles. This strategy may help to keep you moving temporarily, but it’s a bad long-term strategy. It’s bad for a lot of reasons but we’ll focus on one today – it takes way more energy to keep your body functioning using only your GLOBAL muscles. It would be like switching from driving a hybrid to a Hummer. The Hummer uses WAY more gas and doesn’t get you nearly the same distance.

I don’t know about you, but some days I’m tired enough WITHOUT pain.

If your energy levels are on the down slope and it’s hard to find the motivation to stay healthy, active and engaged with family/friends, it could be from the “pain drain”. Luckily, it’s very possible to regain that spark! It starts with getting to the root of the problem and “resetting” your body to be more efficient. When you start to discover where things have broken down, it’s easy to get on the right track again. Things like walking further, going out with friends, traveling and doing more may seem like a tall order at the moment, but they’re all within reach. It starts by taking a step in the right direction and getting expert help.

If you want to know how YOU can get more of your energy back, give us a call at (504) 407-3477 or email Dr. Lauren Manna at

I look forward to working with you in restoring your energy, health and active lifestyle!

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