WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE PAIN?
Pain can take in many forms, whether a simple head ache, minor burn, or mild to severe long lasting prick or tingle of your back. Pain happens when nerves that are called nociceptors detect tissue damage. These nerves then send signals along the spinal cord to the brain to pass on information about the actual or potential tissue damage. The moment this information is transmitted into the brain, the brain then decides what to do about the pain. Pain also acts as body’s defense mechanism by warning us to take action to prevent further tissue damage.
There are three types of pain: acute pain and chronic pain. Acute pain is often caused by a disease, injury, or inflammation. It can be diagnosed and treated and is usually only lasts for a short time. Acute pain is often a signal that your body has been injured. On the other hand, pain that lasts for 3 months or longer is called chronic pain. Chronic pain occurs for a long time which can be mild or severe and it can be continuous or intermittent. Chronic pain is considered a health condition in itself and sometimes can also occur without any indication of an injury or illness. In some situations, acute pain becomes chronic pain that can last for months or even years. On the other hand, psychosomatic pain originates from emotional stress or anxiety and progresses with physical symptoms when a person’s immune system is compromised due to stress. In simpler terms, psychosomatic pain refers to real physical symptoms that are caused by the mind. Often psychosomatic pain is caused by underlying emotions such as grief, stress, and anxiety that can all present themselves in physical ways.
WHEN ACUTE PAIN BECOMES CHRONIC DISEASES
Chronic diseases are usually characterized by acute episodes of illness followed by a period of time when symptoms may be reduced or absent, and some may cause permanent disability. They often come on slowly and continue to develop slowly. Chronic diseases can be controlled, but not always cured, as they will require a lifetime treatment plan. So when acute pain does becomes chronic diseases?
Worldwide, over-the-counter and prescription medications are widely used to treat acute pain. Some of the most common types of over-the-counter pain relievers are acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). However, these drugs do not address the main source of the problem and is only temporarily relieving the pain. It just conceals the pain and does not treat the root cause of pain. Long-term use of these types of drugs can have potentially severe effects on the body which can lead to chronic diseases. Research also suggests that chronic use of pain medications sensitizes a portion of the nervous system and modifies the way your brain and spinal cord interpret pain signals which results in developing a tolerance to the medication over time.
When you are suffering from acute pain, understand the cause, how it can be treated, and how to prevent it from becoming chronic disease whenever possible. For example, a young woman may be suffering from chronic pelvic pain. A chronic pelvic pain could be caused by a number of conditions (such as reproductive, urinary, digestive), or the doctor may assume that it might have no cause at all. However, if a cause can’t be identified, treatment will focus on managing the pain and other symptoms by giving medications such as pain relievers, hormone treatments, antibiotics, or antidepressants which do not help address the core source of the problem.