Wednesday, 08 June 2022 05:42

Understanding Pain. Featured

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The pain will leave once it has finished educating you. No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.

The pain will leave once it has finished educating you. No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn.

I had to look through several medical journals to understand the meaning of pain, and I found some exciting analyses from Johns Hopkins. Pain is an uncomfortable feeling that tells you something may be wrong. It can be steady, throbbing, stabbing, aching, pinching, or described in many other ways. Sometimes, it's just a nuisance, like a mild headache. Other times it can be debilitating.

Pain can bring about other physical symptoms, like nausea, dizziness, weakness, or drowsiness. It can cause emotional effects like anger, depression, mood swings or irritability. Perhaps most significantly, it can change your lifestyle and impact your job, relationships, and independence.

Pain is classified as either acute or chronic. Acute pain is usually severe and short-lived and often signals that your body has been injured. Chronic pain can range from mild to severe, is present for long periods, and is often the result of a disease that may require ongoing treatment.

The best way to treat pain is to manage the symptoms. If the source of your pain can't be treated or isn't known, your pain medicine specialists can offer options for pain control.

Pain is not a result of being weak. Pain brings weakness. So stop beating yourself when you feel pain. Stop thinking it is because you are weak. This thinking is negative, and it won't do you any good. It will develop low confidence that can lead to depression and mental illness.

You feel pain when specific nerves called nociceptors detect tissue damage and transmit information about the damage along the spinal cord to the brain. For example, touching a hot surface will send a message through a reflex arc in the spinal cord and cause an immediate contraction of the muscles. This contraction will pull the hand away from the hot surface, limiting further damage. The instant pain felt enabled you to resist further damage to your tissue. The pain rescued you.

This reflex occurs before the message reaches the brain. Once the pain message arrives, it causes you to feel an unpleasant sensation. That sensation is pain. The brain's interpretation of these signals and the efficiency of the communication channel between the nociceptors and the brain dictate how an individual experiences pain. The brain may also release feel-good chemicals, such as dopamine to counter the unpleasant effects of pain.

Pain is unpleasant, but it is necessary. Pain is inevitable. You will feel different types of pain in your life. The feeling of pain does not go away. It doesn't matter what your status or religious beliefs are. You will feel pain where there is a cause to feel one. You cannot avoid pain. You can avoid getting hurt, but there is certain pain that will signal you for survival; these are the reflex you cannot predict, so you cannot prevent them.

We are not robots or machines with warning signals like those in a car's dashboard that let the driver know when the vehicle is low on oil or gas. We need the sensation of pain to let us know when our bodies need extra care. It's an important signal. Don't ignore your pains. They are a signal. They are necessary.

When you sense pain, you must pay attention to your body and take the necessary steps to fix what hurts. You need to identify the root cause of the pain to deal with it from the root. Pain can also prevent you from injuring your body. If it doesn't hurt to walk on a leg that is dislocated, you will keep using it and cause more damage to the leg. If your throat is really sore, you'll probably go to the doctor, who can treat the infection if you have one.

I plead with you to understand that your pain is not a weakness. By dismissing and rejecting the pain, you deliberately ignore your health and well-being. If you have unexplained pain, your body is signalling that you pay attention. Chronic pain should not be overlooked or equated with being weak; you should not be ashamed that you experience pain.

There are different types of pain. The four major types of pain:

     1.    Nociceptive Pain: Typically the result of tissue injury. Common types of nociceptive pain are arthritis, mechanical back, or post-surgical pain.

     2.    Inflammatory Pain: An abnormal inflammation caused by an inappropriate response by the body's immune system. Conditions in this category include gout and rheumatoid arthritis.

     3.   Neuropathic Pain: Pain caused by nerve irritation. This includes conditions such as neuropathy, radicular pain, and trigeminal neuralgia.

     4.   Functional Pain: Pain without obvious origin but can cause pain. Examples of such conditions are fibromyalgia and irritable bowel syndrome.

Pain, when it is not effectively treated and relieved, has a detrimental effect on all aspects of quality of life. It can create a negative impact if misunderstood. This is true for most people. Some people feel weak and ashamed because they are experiencing some sort of pain and would not want to seek medical advice.

Pain is a highly toxic experience that can be detrimental to one's state of mind and mental health. Still, it can also have an overwhelmingly negative effect on nearly every other aspect of life. It can affect one's mood, attitude, and capacity to function daily.

It is elementary to suffer mental health and depression if you live in pain. Chronic stress is known to change the levels of stress hormones and neurochemicals found within your brain and nervous system; these can affect your mood, thinking and behaviour.

Understanding is fundamental to pain because pain depends on what it means to you. When you understand pain, it helps reduce the fear and anxiety surrounding it. The understanding can help reduce the impact pain has on you.

People traditionally think that pain is due to injury or damage. It is a warning to be very cautious to avoid further injury and pain. But in reality, due to changes within the nervous system, the feeling of pain can far outlast the actual tissue injury and persist even after the wound has healed.

There are three dimensions of pain. The sensory (the actual feeling of pain, its nature and locality), the cognitive (what we think about the pain and how to interpret its meaning and context) and the affective (how we behave in reaction to it).

Your thoughts and emotions (cognitions) can directly affect the healing of injured tissue. This can be due to your behavioural changes or how you view the problem.

In time, you adapt to pain, and pain is often your body's adaptation process to handle larger workloads. Why do we try to console those who complain of pain? Pain helps you appreciate joy even more. Those people who have genuinely suffered are more appreciative in life.

Pain is a friend that comes with lots of opportunities. Pain is a prerequisite to opportunity. The remarkable thing about pain is it only hurts when you stop. As long as you are in motion, you don't feel it, and your body just adapts.


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