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Why damage is good for you

5 min. reading time

Your nervous system needs damage to work properly. You'll probably think: 'But damage is bad, isn't it?'. As is often the case, the answer is yes and no. 

Our body is well constructed and has a lot of power to heal itself. Every a wound or fracture often heals itself. During healing something special happens: our body often becomes even stronger than before. 

The best form of 'damage' our body can suffer is 'minor damage'. By challenging our body, for example by exercising, small amounts of damage are caused in different places. In repairing this damage, your body becomes stronger. In this way, for example, muscles grow!

The healthy stimuli your nervous system needs

The same goes for the nervous system. The nervous system consists of the nerve pathways, the spinal cord and the brain. Stimuli travel through the nervous system to the brain, and the brain decides whether they are going to create pain from the stimuli that arrive. 

If the nervous system is to work properly, it is important that it is kept active in the right way. Actually just like a muscle. You don't want to burden a muscle too much or too little. This way you don't want to put too much, and not too little, on your nervous system.

A good example of pain with too little strain is phantom pain. With phantom pain, someone feels pain in a part of the body that is no longer there! Due to a lack of stimuli from this area, the brain itself 'makes up' pain! 

An example of pain with too much strain is that someone completely ignores his limits. Cleaning the whole house, while someone has been able to do almost nothing in the last few weeks. After such an effort, the nervous system has to endure too much, which makes your pain problem worse. 

The trick is to stress your nervous system enough to become stronger. By slowly expanding your activities and load on your body. Take as a starting point the amount of activity of the past 2 weeks as you start building up. Slowly expand your activities, you will also find some examples on this blog. 

Why damage is good for you

More guidance on how to decrease your pain