What Everyone Should Know About Pain

Other pain is not so good for you

On the other hand, when pain becomes a chronic condition and no longer serves as a warning system, it is not of benefit. When your body is injured, the pain associated with that injury persists for some time, as the body heals.  That hypersensitivity to pain during the healing process is of benefit to you, as it serves to have you protect your body while it is still fragile. However, there are times when healing is complete, yet pain persists. This is generally referred to as chronic pain and is more often detrimental than beneficial to you. In some cases, a chronic pain develops, and the initial cause of any pain is not evident. Some conditions such as fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, and some types of headaches are only evident by the experience of pain and have no physical indications. In other conditions, an inciting injury can be identified, but the extent and persistence of pain is well beyond that explainable by the injury itself. In any of these chronic pain conditions, the cause of the pain is dysfunction of the nervous system itself. Medical research has identified some of the pathological processes that lead to chronic pain, but much is still unknown. This lack of knowledge is why chronic pain conditions are difficult to treat. One thing that is clear is that the nervous system undergoes major physiological changes, and the “pain system” begins functioning differently when a chronic pain condition develops. In a sense, the pain system has gone rogue, becoming active at inappropriate times and even becoming sporadically and spontaneously active. There seem to be multiple ways that this can happen, and current medical research is attempting to learn what drives these processes, in the hopes of finding complete and lasting treatments.

We recommend the following resource for additional informtion:
The Chronic Pain Research Alliance

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