When we are experiencing pain or discomfort we search for a cause, understanding that identifying the reason for this pain will provide us with the answers necessary to free ourselves from the suffering. However, the body is a system in which the mind, body, and soul work together as one, and a problem in any of these areas can result in physical symptoms. To discover the root of our pain we must explore not only physical causes but also mental, emotional and spiritual possibilities.

It’s a concept that many mainstream doctors today would prefer that we overlook, as it complicates their job. However, having a true understanding of the way that the various aspects of the body can work together will provide for an explanation in some situations in which no physical cause appears to be present. Those experiencing chronic pain conditions, for example, may spend weeks, months or even years seeking a physical cause that doesn’t exist, when an understanding of mental, spiritual and emotional causes may provide a much-desired explanation.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t seek the advice of your family doctor. In fact, ruling out potential physical causes is the first step in determining the root of any physical pain you are experiencing. You want to ensure that this pain isn’t an indicator of some more serious underlying condition so that it can be addressed as soon as possible. If your doctor comes up empty, however, then it is time to consider the following options.

Here are 12 types of physical pain that actually indicate emotional, mental or spiritual struggles in your life:

#1 – Shoulder Pain

Have you ever heard someone refer to ‘shouldering the burden’ or ‘shouldering the responsibility’? What about saying that they can handle something by saying ‘I have strong shoulders’? These sayings truly revel the connection between the mental/emotional self and the physical self. Sore shoulders indicate that you have been taking on too many commitments in your life and you are feeling overwhelmed. The only way to free yourself from this pain is to start setting boundaries and limitations to protect yourself.

#2 – Hand Pain

Pain, stiffness or discomfort in your hand is caused by an inability to touch others in your life. To break it down to the root of the problem, it is caused by a lack of connections and socialization, denying yourself the opportunity to touch the heart of another. The solution to this type of pain is simple in theory but may be harder in practice depending on your personality. You need to socialize more often, letting down your barriers and getting close enough to others to develop meaningful connections.

#3 – Foot Pain

Feeling aching in the feet is likely something you are familiar with as our feet take a beating throughout the day, however, if this dull ache from overuse becomes something more, causing true pain and discomfort, then it’s time to seek another cause. If your doctor can’t provide you with a physical explanation, then the pain may be caused by your current emotional state. Feelings of depression or extreme negativity in your life will often manifest in your feet, as the negative energy flows between yourself and the world around you with each step. The only way to free yourself from this pain is to make a point of banishing the negative and toxic energy in your world, inviting positive energy in its place.

#4 – Headaches and Migraines

Of all the aches and pains listed here, many will agree that this is the one that makes the most sense on the list. After all, many of us have experienced headaches from being overly stressed before. Stress is only one of the potential causes to consider here. Your headache may also be the result of a number of other mental health conditions including depression and anxiety. A good rule of thumb when it comes to headaches – if it’s something that fills your mind with negative, overwhelming thoughts, then it could lead to a headache.

#5 – Eye Pain

Pain in the eyes refers to a specific type of vision. While physical causes may include trying to see without the aid of glasses or contact lenses despite vision problems, straining your eyes, the mental/emotional cause also refers to an ability to see. The difference is that the thing you can’t see clearly is reality. You struggle to deal with the problems in your life as you reject reality, causing you to be blind to what is actually happening around you. You need to step back and open your eyes, heart, and mind to all that is happening both physically around us, as well as in the universal energy that surrounds us, as it is the only path to freedom from this pain.

#6 – Upper Back Pain

If you find yourself seeking love in your life and only meeting with rejection, then you may be experiencing pain in your upper back. This pain is associated with feelings of solitude and loneliness. For some, this is due to social anxiety, extreme introversion or a fear of putting yourself out there. For others, you may feel this type of pain following a major breakup as you work through the feelings of rejection that follow. The only way to relieve the pain is to open your heart to others, allowing you to establish new relationships and connections.

#7 – Throat Pain

There are many tangible physical causes for throat pain ranging from talking or screaming too loudly over a prolonged period of time to a simple cold or allergic reaction, however, if you have eliminated all the possible physical causes it is time to look deeper. Throat pain is associated with feelings of bitterness or resentment, most often felt by those who struggle to find reasons to be happy with their lives. While we all face our challenges and difficulties, there is always a reason to be grateful if only you focus your attention on the positives in life. Start a gratitude journal and refer to it when struggling with throat pain.

#8 – Neck Pain

If you are experiencing neck pain or stiffness this could be caused by stubbornness or the need to forgive someone for past pains that you have been holding onto. The idea of ‘forgive and forget’ doesn’t just work to free your mind, it also frees you from potential physical ailments. If there is someone that has upset you or continues to upset them, remember that forgiving them doesn’t mean that you have to continue to allow them in your life. Forgive them not for them, but for you, and then let them go freeing yourself from their negativity.

#9 – Pelvic Pain

Given the location of the pain, it should come as no surprise that mental/emotional causes for this pain are associated with relationships, love, and sexuality. Specifically, the pain is associated with guilt and regret in that area of your life. You may have wronged a partner or been unfaithful, and the guilt from these actions (whether your partner is aware or not) are now manifesting in a physical nature forcing you to deal with them. This may also be caused by denying yourself the opportunity to explore your sexuality, bottling up all of your sexual energy until such time that it began to bubble to the surface. Freedom from this pain will only come by forgiving yourself or accepting your sexuality.

#10 – Lower Back Pain

Pain in the area of your lower back is most often associated with stress and challenges in your financial or professional lives. When you are dealing with money struggles, this can impact your mental and emotional health, and in turn, manifest in physical pain. At the same time, the struggles may be in your career. Are you unhappy in your choice of career? Have you been overlooked for the most recent promotion at the office? Take a step back and reassess your current job, determining if you are actually happy where you’re at. If your frustration is something that can be fixed while retaining this job, then map out a plan for your next steps to work towards your goals. If not, it’s time to consider seeking something new. Listen to your heart, as the best jobs are the ones we are most passionate about.

#11 – Calf Pain

If you are feeling an ache or pain in one or both calves, this may be caused by feelings of resentment towards our society for forcing you to become someone you don’t believe is true to who you actually are. Often when faced with peer pressure and society’s expectations we find ourselves giving in, becoming who we think the world wants us to be. Instead, you need to listen to your heart and discover who you truly are. Your true self may have its flaws or challenges, but it will also carry great strengths that are unique to you and are needed in this world. Embrace authenticity.

#12 – Elbow and Knee Pain

Often when we feel pain in our joints it is assumed that it is caused by arthritis, but if your doctor finds no other evidence to support this theory then it may be time to consider a different cause. Pain and stiffness in the elbows and knees are associated with stubbornness and an unwillingness to accept change in our lives. The only way to grow and evolve in our lives is to change, and so the Universe will put pressure on us to do so at various points in life. If, however, you resist this need for change then it will find new ways to increase this pressure, until such time that you accept that there is only one way forward. Take a deep breath and step into the unknown, allowing yourself to evolve into a new and better version of ‘you’.

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