No doubt many people suffering from chronic pain have heard the phrase, “It’s all in your head.” The reality is that all pain — whether caused by a broken leg or fibromyalgia — is processed in the brain, right alongside parts of the brain that regulate emotions.

This overlap between emotion and pain, however, is not a roadblock to better health. Instead, it can provide a pathway for people to gain control over their chronic pain.

“I’ve found that being positive and optimistic, staying hopeful, and really focusing on helping other people has been a wonderful way to get through it,” said Ashley Boynes-Shuck, a blogger and health advocate from Pittsburgh, Pa. She has been coping with juvenile idiopathic arthritis and chronic pain since she was ten years old.

Pain and Emotion Share Real Estate in the Brain

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