They can not even agree on a sole definition of the term. One thing they agree on is the fact that pain is a very big problem. Kathryn Weiner, director of the American Academy of Pain Management stated that pain is one of the biggest epidemics in the United States of America. It is very difficult to obtain the real numbers associated with pain. For example a study which was conducted in 2000 revealed the fact that 80 percent of the Americans believed that pain is related to old age. 64 percent of the people stated that they go to see a doctor only it they can no longer take the pain. More than 25 percent of the people believed that there is no solution for their pain.
Weiner stated that pain can leave a major toll on the sufferer and on his/her family. She believes that pain and treating the pain is a common characteristic of our modern society. Like I previously mentioned, the doctors and the scientists do not know what pain is, and I am certain that if you suffer from chronic pain, then that thing is not encouraging at all. Weiner stated that the pain is a very complex process, and as a result it is very difficult to offer a definition for it.
She stated that pain is more than neural transmission and sensory transduction. She stated that pain is a mixture of experienced, cultures, emotions, sensations, and spirit. The American Academy of Pain Medicine does not know too much about pain either. They declare it as an “unpleasant sensation”. There are different ways of defining pain and it is very important to know which type of pain you have in order to know how to treat it. Sally Lawson, a professor of physiology at the University of Bristol in the UK stated that one way of distinguishing pain is between acute and chronic.
The acute pain is the pain which lasts for a certain period of time. Hitting your head against the wall will result in acute pain. Even if it is painful, it will only last for a certain period of time and then it will pass. The chronic pain on the other hand is different, as it is persistent, and it can be the result of physical injury, viral infections of the nerve, degeneration of the bones, arthritic damage to the joints, and so on. This pain is very frustrating as you feel it on a constant basis and as a result you can not live life in the normal manner.
Another way of distinguishing pain is through evoked pain, and spontaneous pain. The evoked pain is the pain which is the result of a certain activity. For example hitting your head against something is an evoked pain, as it is the result of the hit. The spontaneous pain has no obvious external cause. The neuropathic pain, which is a type of chronic pain usually, comes from damaged nerves. However it has been recently discovered that pain can be produced by the healthy nerves as well. The acute pain is evoked in most of the cases, but the chronic pain can be both evoked and spontaneous.
The chronic pain can be a burning pain which is ongoing and unpleasant, or an intermittent sharp stabbing or shooting pain. It can be both of them as well. The scientists are currently working on understanding the nature of the pain. They want to analyze the way in which it is transmitted and what types of nerves are being used for the transmission of the pain. The nerves in the body send signals to our brain when they sense something dangerous. Touching a very hot object will result in pain; that’s the body’s way of protecting itself. Without pain receptors we would not know that the object is hot, but we would still damage ourselves.
Nerve receptors are present everywhere in the body, but the majority of them are present on the fingers and between the vertebras of the back. The nerves which send the pain signals are called nociceptors, and they send signals to the spinal column. When the cause of the pain is intensified, the signals are intensified as well. Neurotransmitters are being released in the spinal column when the nociceptors get there. The spinal column has to take certain decisions, such as which information to deliver to the brain. It will make the choice based on the gravity of the pain. The weaker messages are given less priority.
The type of pain you feel is connected with the type of nociceptive fiber that sends the initial signal. The larger fibers will cause sharp pricking pain whereas the fine fibers will cause ongoing burning pane. The later is the more annoying one, as it can cause a lot of inconvenience. When the brain receives the signals it will make you get away from the source of the pain. For example when you touch something hot you immediately remove your hand from there because your brain told you so. However the brain can also release endorphins.
The chronic pain is considered to be the one that lasts for more than 6 months. In most of the cases the pain is intensified even when there is no reason, and as a result the person will have to take certain medications that will make it stop. The doctors say that it is very important to seek different advices, and to live a proactive life. In the case of chronic lower back pain it is essential to take walks, and go swimming, as it will do you much better than sitting in the bed or on a chair.11