What Everyone Should Know About Pain

Some pain is good for you

Generally, we think of pain as a bad thing — something to avoid. And, in fact, avoiding pain is a survival mechanism of considerable value for us. But it is the experience of pain that allows us to recognize physical danger and learn to avoid threatening situations. One might think that a pain-free existence would be idyllic. However, it is just the opposite. The rare individual who is born without the capacity to feel pain is at grave risk. Medical reports describe such people, and they fail to recognize when their bodies are injured or at risk of injury. These people fail to recognize medical problems at an early stage, cut and bruise themselves repeatedly, and even fail to recognize severe injuries, such as broken bones, unless they see the aggrieved body part. One report described such a person who did not realize that he had placed a hand on a stove burner until he smelled burning flesh! Ultimately, such people have shorter lives than they would otherwise. These completely analgesic people clearly show that pain serves an as important warning system for our body that we would not want to be without.

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

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