Thursday, December 14, 2017 22:34

What Causes Chronic Pain?

Posted by on Tuesday, November 10, 2009, 13:21
This news item was posted in Chronic Pain category and has 0 Comments so far.

First of all, our knowledge of the physiology of chronic pain in not complete. But we do know that pain begins when the nervous system responds to some sorts of stimulus, a pinprick, a blow to the arm, or some other type of injury a disease, for example that causes tissue damage.

The tissue damage message is conveyed by nerve fibers to the spinal cord and then to the brain. These messages are coalled nociceptive stimuli.

They have a purpose. They tell the brain that tissue damage has occurred. And the body reacts reflexively to protect itself. If you have put your hand on something hot, for example, you pull it away. If you have struck your finger with a hammer, you rub it. If an injury illness seems to be severe, you seek medical attention.

Chronic Pain tells us ” Go and get help.” If we didn’t have that signal, we could die, because we wouldn’t seek to avert the damage that was taking place. Thus, acute pain, despite the suffering it creates, is an important ally.

With treatment, and in time, the tissue damage caused by an injury or an illness heals. Gradually pain diminishes. That red light telling you that something is wrong begins to fade. Finally it turns itself off completely, and you feel like yourself again.

You pain began the same way, with an accident, an operation, an illness, or perhaps something you weren’t aware of at all. You felt pain perhaps in your lower back, abdomen, neck, or head and you sought help. But with the passage of time the pain hasn’t really diminished, though its quality may have become more “nagging” than acute. Or it may have even grown worse.

When pain continues longer that the medical profession would expect a simmilar condition to last, it is termed “chronic pain”. Back pain for example, is usually considered chronic when it has lasted more than three months.

The odd thing is that in most cases a medical examination will show that the body has healed. And the physiological changes that accompany acute pain increased heart rate and respiration, among others have returned to normal. There seems to be no substantial for your pain. Still, you are hurting.

If chronic pain affected only a few people, we might think they were ‘imagining” it in some way. But more than fifty million people in this country suffer from chronic pain. Sq we have to assume that chronic pain is a problem that has not been fully understood by the medical profession.

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