What is Pain?
The International Association for the Study of Pain defines pain as an unpleasant sensory or emotional experience associated with tissue damage or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage. Another more practical definition that some people use is “pain is what hurts,” and it can hurt on many levels. It can stop you from doing the activities you want to. It can stop you from getting out of bed in the morning. It can affect your interactions with other people. It can affect your daily activities. It can affect your family life. People talk about acute pain and chronic pain. Acute pain is something that happens secondary to a particular injury and over a gradual time fades. Chronic pain is something that persists. It’s either from ongoing damage or from damage that takes place but for some reason the nervous system perpetuates those signals and the patient has continued pain without a stimulus. We usually define it as acute pain when it is less than three to six months.
Chronic pain lasts longer than that. Many theories of how pain is produced in the body relate to inflammation. Pain is part of an inflammatory response as many reactions of the body are part of an inflammatory response. It’s thought that if we can minimize inflammation or decrease inflammation we can increase the perception of pain and decrease the damage done by pain. Everybody experiences pain at some point in their lives, usually many points in their lives, be it an athletic injury, be it a persistent injury, be it arthritis, be it secondary to a disease. Everybody has pain at some time. I believe to adequately fight pain you need to have a lifestyle that enhances your body’s ability to fight pain. It comes from an exercise plan of whatever you can do. It comes from a good nutritional program. It comes from adequate supplementation to ensure that they have a therapeutic supply of all the nutrients their body may need to help them heal faster and more effectively.