Study of Pain
The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) defines pain as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage. The word “pain” comes from the Latin root poena meaning punishment, a fine, a penalty.
There are two types of pain: acute pain and chronic pain. Acute pain occurs for specific reasons. With acute pain, an actual or potentially damaging event triggers special sensory nerve endings located in the skin, muscles and joints. These neural impulses then travel through the dorsal horns of the spinal cord and up to the higher centers of the brainstem and brain. An automatic and rapid course of action to eliminate the event and prevent further injury is decided upon.
Types of Pain
- Acute pain is a protective mechanism that helps us avoid damaging situations. It warns us that damage is imminent and provides information that the body uses to avoid further injury. For example, acute pain warns us to quickly remove our hand from a hot stove top.
- Acute pain lets us know when we need to seek medical attention – such as when we have received a cut, broken a bone, or are having a heart attack. Our action may be as small putting on a band-aid or as extreme as a visit to the Emergency Room.
- Acute pain is also a signal that we need to rest a body part to allow it to heal. For example, the pain of a broken ankle prevents us from putting weight on the leg until the bone has healed enough to withstand it.
Many RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) sufferers experience chronic pain. Unlike acute pain, chronic pain serves no purpose. It is defined as “the disease of pain” (Wikipedia: Pain and Nociception). The initial purpose of pain is long forgotten but the pain continues and may even worsen. A stronger emotional component is associated with chronic pain including anxiety, depression and helplessness.
The benefits of acute pain are automatic body responses that prevent the body from further injury. We can some receive some of the same benefits with chronic pain; however, our actions will need to be more deliberate and thoughtful rather than the immediate and spontaneous requests demanded by our body.
Pain as a Warning Signal
- Reduce environmental stresses on the body by making appropriate ergonomic changes to the work area.
- Use the body smarter, not harder. Use proper body mechanics when performing tasks such as lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling. Use power tools. Pace yourself. Use the strongest and largest muscles to perform heavier jobs. Plan ahead. Use good posture.
- Change harmful and painful work habits. Don’t ignore pain. Stretch regularly and take frequent mini-breaks. Avoid static grip or positioning. Avoid awkward positioning.
Pain as the Body’s Request for Healing
- Seek medical attention. Be specific with your pain concerns so that your medical practitioners can better diagnose your injury.
- Think outside the box with alternative treatments such as: Yoga, Pilates, movement therapies such as, massage therapy, acupuncture.
- Develop healthy habits: consult with a nutritionist, stop smoking, get a good night’s rest, and perform 15-20 minutes of gentle cardio activity daily.
Pain as a Signal to Rest
- Take frequent mini breaks. If you are less painful by the end of the day, you will actually be more productive for taking these breaks than if you worked straight through.
- Use splints and supports to rest painful joints and muscles. Your physician or therapist can help you choose the style that is most appropriate for your condition and provide instructions for wearing time.
- Use cold packs to control inflammation.
- Use either heat packs or cold packs to alleviate pain. Both may help to reduce pain by changing the way the pain signal is delivered to the brain. Try both and choose the one that feels the best.
When a part or your whole body starts aching badly, you try and tolerate it. But slowly when the pain goes beyond imagination, and it becomes unbearable, you pop in a prescribed pain killer. As the pain killer starts taking action, the pain in your body ceases and you feel relieved. Pain killers should, however, not be confused with anesthesia as the latter also makes the area numb. But, these pills might have certain side effects as well. Here are some more information about these pills and their side effects.
Pain Killers: What are they?
Pain killers are also known as analgesic, which has been derived from a Greek word and means ‘without’ and algos which means ‘pain’. Pain killers are members of that group of drugs that are used to relieve pain. One can categorize pain killers in several ways; one, the over the counter pills which does not need a prescription to buy, and the ones that require prescription for purchasing. The next methods of categorizing them are by their chemical type. The first chemical is the opiates which can also be called narcotics, non-selective non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), the selective NSAIDS, pain killers that do not fit into any of the categories above, and some pain killers of various chemical combinations.
Various Pain killers and Their Uses
while suffering from unbearable pain, people are often confused as to which pain killer will be best for them. There are so many pills in the market that we cannot decide. Well not to worry. Given below is a list of some of the common pain killers and also the best uses of these pills are given. This is sure to help you decide what you need.
- Aspirin is good for all kinds of pains and earlier it was very popular as it was said to lower the chances or risk of the person suffering from stroke or any kind of heart diseases. Any kind of pain, all people used to do and still does now is pop in an aspirin.
- If you are suffering from a terrible tooth ache, or if you have fallen down and sprained your hand or leg and cannot bear the pain, then its better that you pop in a paracetamol. This pain killer is good for splitting headaches as well as getting rid of the common cold and fever. This is an over the counter pain killer.
- Morphine is a prescription drug that eases pain that is caused by heart attacks. It also reduces back pain, or pain caused by kidney stones and even pain after surgery.However, one has to be very careful about using morphine as it can be addictive.
- Codeine is another popular prescribed pain killer and it is used as a general pain killer. Sometimes, doctors even ask the patients to use this pill along with some other prescribed medications.
- Ibuprofen is a good over the counter pain killer for pains in muscles, migraines, minor sprains and strains, arthritis, menstrual pains or cramps and even severe toothaches. This is a very common pain killer which may people uses nowadays. But there are certain side effects too. Learn more about the side effects of ibuprofen.
- There’s one particular pain killer which is good for a sports person when they sprain their limbs or when they suffer from tennis elbow or when they are injured while playing and that’s Piroxicam. This pill can also be taken in by those who are suffering from tendonitis or juvenile arthritis.
or juvenile arthritis. Now popping in a pill when you are suffering from unbearable pain and that pill easing the pain, sounds good, but are you aware of the fact that popping in too many pills can have several side effects? Yes, pain killer’s side effectsare very common especially among those who frequently take them. Let us see what the various side effects are.
Side Effects of Pain Killers
Pain killers might reduce the pain, but along with it you also have to accept the pain killer side effects. These side effects vary from one person to another and various drugs have different kind of side effects on us. Hence, one should take the pain killer only when the pain is ABSOLUTELY unbearable. If you feel that you can manage to bear it, avoid taking these pills as much as possible. Let us now see what some of the common side effects are.
- One side effect of pain killers is constipation, and this can be a major problem for many. Hence along with the pain killer, there are various constipation relief medicines that you can try out.
- Some people might also suffer from itchy skin problem and the person also gets a sensitive skin. There are people, who after taking pain killers might also develop hives.
- Blurred vision is another side effect that people have. However, this is only a case of severe side effect of these pills.
- Stomach related problems such as indigestion, or stomach ache or even diarrhea, are some of the common side effects of these pain killing pills.
- Other side effects of these pill are, drowsiness, feeling dizzy and lethargic.
- Production of saliva in the mouth is reduced hence the mouth becomes very dry and uncomfortable.
- The worst side effects of taking painkillers is that the person gets addicted to it and even at the slightest pain they pop in a pill, not realizing what harm they are causing to their body.