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Seeking a Life Without Chronic Pain

Post: #1
04-18-2009, 10:16 PM
member54442 Offline
*******

Seeking a Life Without Chronic Pain

While most of us certainly take no enjoyment in pain, pain is not our enemy but rather serves as a means to allow our bodies to tell us that we are doing or have done something that is harmful to ourselves. Pain also tells us when something in our body is being damaged whether by a failure of the body itself or by injury. Although experiencing pain is not pleasant, it is a rather effective means of inhibiting destructive behaviors that would have limited the survival of humankind through the ages.

To understand the importance of pain, we need look no further than to the development of children with congenital analgesia, or the inability to feel pain. In such cases, these children act without the normal inhibitions that pain normally provides. Most children are drawn to fire, but will quickly learn that fire hurts after experiencing a small burn or when their parents remind them of pain they have experienced in the past. However, children with congenital analgesia will happily play with fire and be burned or climb and jump from a tree if left unguarded only to break bones or worse. Without the ability to feel pain, these children lack the fundamental feedback mechanisms to ensure their own health.

Although pain is extremely important, there are times at which it occurs, yet fails to serve any useful function. Such is the case when pain occurs for those with fibromyalgia, neuralgia or forms of nerve damage. In these cases, the firing of the nerves to indicate pain does not protect, but is only the result of the condition.

In a similar situation, the pains experienced as a result of aging serve no real useful purpose. The pains exist because evolution does not take into account the wear we endure from aging and simply allowed our bodies to continue to tell us that our joints are rubbing or our muscles are strained despite the fact that we can do little about it.

One last important area in which pain serves no purpose is in the chronic pain experienced by those with many degenerative diseases and cancer. In these cases, our bodies continue to tell us that something is very wrong despite the inability of the body to correct the problem. The issue here is that the brain does not provide the built-in ability to recognize that the pain is no longer serving a useful function and should be ignored.

All this unnecessary pain has significant effects on those who experience it. Chronic pain causes fatigue, interferes with sleep and can cause depression and anxiety in many sufferers. Some studies have found rewiring of the brain circuitry in those with chronic pain. Chronic pain sufferers will often have difficulty even leading normal day-to-day lives. From the view of the patient, the pain does nothing to aid them in improving their condition. From the view of the body, the expression of pain is no longer simply unnecessary, but is in fact destructive to overall bodily health.

To combat chronic pain, the roughly 20 to 30% of the population that suffer from it will turn to many options. These options range from forms of exercise to alternative therapies such as acupressure and acupuncture, to both off the shelf and prescription forms of painkillers, all the way to the use of opiates and the medical use of marijuana. The effectiveness and side effects of each approach varies considerably and different people will use varying approaches based on their level of pain, the level of relief and the tolerance to side effects. In addition, risks of addiction and the duration of effectiveness are also important factors that affect the use of pain reduction techniques.

With chronic pain being such a debilitator, there are two areas of research that are important to pain management. One finding from a few years ago was that those playing immersive video games were less aware of their pain. This finding is important because it suggests that there are ways to cause the brain to feel less pain simply through a form of training or distraction. The obvious result of this is the potential for reduction in use of drugs with negative side effects.

Another very recent finding that is important was the development of a very slow release anesthetic by the Children's Hospital Boston. The creators of the specialized fat particle capable of slow, safe release of a painkiller suggest that it could release anesthetic for durations as long as months after a single injection. This development is very important because it could allow the minimal required dose for pain control to be administered over long periods to minimize toxicity to the body and side effects to the patient More importantly, it could allow chronic pain sufferers the ability to become functioning, happy members of society by eliminating the daily and often hourly battle against pain.

While pain itself is not our enemy, to those with chronic pain the persistent suffering is likely to cause a difference of opinion. When the need to manage the pain overrides most other daily activities and impedes the ability to stay healthy, it is no longer serving its intended purpose and needs to be turned off. It is in these situations that pain, the messenger, needs to be told that they have been heard, but are no longer telling us anything useful.

Related Links:

http://www.springerlink.com/content/c822w12311710276/
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070802/pain_series_3_070802?s_name=&no_ads=
http://www.pain.com/
http://webhome.idirect.com/~readon/pain.html
http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2008/11/26/brain-crps.html
.html
http://anesthesia.medicine.dal.ca/clinical/pmu/patients/facts-about-chronic-pain.php
http://www.pfizer.ca/english/newsroom/press%20releases/default.asp?s=1&year=2007&releaseID=253
http://www.medicalmarijuanainformation.com/therapeuticuses/patientGroups.php?groupID=18
http://www.disabled-world.com/medical/pharmaceutical/marijuana/
http://www.worksafesask.ca/files/wcb_sask/chronic_pain.htm
http://novanewsnet.ukings.ca/nova_news_3588_14433.html
http://www.canada.com/topics/news/story.html?id=2cb8529a-56a7-4397-91e1-a9efe730b578&k=49980
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090415113332.htm




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Post: #2
05-16-2012, 10:48 AM
member73227 Offline
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RE: Seeking a Life Without Chronic Pain

These are real interesting finds and I could see how they could work, with the first one as you said distracting the patient, but the second one would concern me personally in if it's constantly administering anesthetics then eventually the body would become immune to them which makes me wonder if in a need of surgical procedures would the body also be somewhat immune to the anesthesia given to a person who's put under possibly causing them to wake up during surgery?



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Post: #3
05-17-2012, 02:14 AM
member54442 Offline
*******

RE: Seeking a Life Without Chronic Pain

You are quite right that constant exposure to an anesthetic can lead to reduced effectiveness over time, but for those who do suffer chronic pain, the effects of the pain can be so debilitating that there are few options besides ongoing use of pain killers. The benefit of the second study mentioned is that the use of the constant release, lowest dose could actually reduce the rate at which a person becomes resistant to the anesthetic. This would mean that for people suffering from pain, they could use a given pain medication for longer while reducing the chances of becoming resistant to the medication should they need it during surgery.



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Post: #4
05-17-2012, 04:57 PM
member73227 Offline
**

RE: Seeking a Life Without Chronic Pain

‚ÄčI've been on pain meds for the past nine years and because I've grown a tolerance to them they've had to try me on all kinds including some extremely strong ones, including Norco, darvon, Morphine, Duragesic, and even all the way up to Methadone but I grew a tolerance to them all except the Methadone. A low dosage of that worked great all day, just one pill as to where the other things I was taking them throughout the day, but the Methadone would make me itch severely so after only one month of trying it and although it worked I told my Dr. I didn't want to take them anymore, besides I've been really blessed not to have gotten addicted to any of them...well...I take that back I did get physically dependent on the duragesic and had no clue I was until one night when I forgot to put a patch on and my late husband and I went to my mom's, later that night I had the most horrible feeling I can't even describe it. I just thought it was caused from the nerve damage, but it just got worse and worse until it had me in tears. I begged my husband to go home and get me a patch and neurontin thinking that would help. About four to six hours after putting the patch on I finally felt normal again and was able to go to sleep. I never realized it was withdraws until about six months later the same thing happened to me when I decided I wasn't going to use them anymore because they didn't help my pain and my doc said "well if you can just not put one on and be fine then throw them away."

So I did, up till that one time i'd never had a problem with not putting one on and I never made the connection until this day when about six hours later I got that crawling feeling under my skin again and I just can't describe it, all I know is it was horrible, but it was then that I realized it was withdraws, I put a patch on and done some research online about withdraws and what they were like. Came across a girls story that was identical to mine. I was lucky enough to have enough patches of lower doses where I was able to wean myself off of them over the next three or four months but, other than that I've never gotten addicted but I have gotten to where they don't work and a huge concern of mine is when I have to get surgery done on my gallbladder that the knock out meds and stuff won't work on me and I'll wake up.



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Post: #5
08-10-2013, 11:47 AM
member13652 Offline
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RE: Seeking a Life Without Chronic Pain

The construction of the human spine is impressive when we consider the combination of strength and flexibility that exist simultaneously in the design of the spine. Our spines, with all 33 stacked vertebrae, manage to support our upper bodies while allowing us freedom of motion and providing protection to the ever-so-delicate spinal cord. Yet, unless we are experiencing back pain, we rarely think about our spines.According to Superdrugsaver health experts, there are two ways in which we experience back pain. The first is the sudden sharp pain that results from making a motion we should not have. The second, and more problematic, is the chronic pain of strained back muscles or something pinched or compressed around the spine itself. Such chronic pain may have started as a result of that sudden, sharp pain. Chronic pain is never good for the body and can have considerable effects on quality of life. In particular, such pain is tied to both depression and insomnia.



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Post: #6
06-14-2014, 09:51 PM
member6726 Offline
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RE: Seeking a Life Without Chronic Pain

Ther is a huge difference between being dependent on a pain medication, and the addiction everyone warns us about.

It's important to remember that we must develop a tolerance for pain medications. Without that tolerance you'd never be able to take the pain medication , then carry on with your day. You'd be swimming through all sorts of side effects or so sleepy that you could not move.

When people are taking the medications for the "high", they are looking for all of those little side effects that go away as tolerance develops. Most people using the medication for serious pain aren't getting that "high" and, because they aren't looking for that high, can stay on the same dose of whatever narcotic they are using for years without having to raise their dosage.




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Post: #7
07-27-2014, 02:47 AM
member68277 Offline
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Seeking a Life Without Chronic Pain

(04-18-2009 10:16 PM)admin Wrote:  While most of us certainly take no enjoyment in pain, pain is not our enemy but rather serves as a means to allow our bodies to tell us that we are doing or have done something that is harmful to ourselves. Pain also tells us when something in our body is being damaged whether by a failure of the body itself or by injury. Although experiencing pain is not pleasant, it is a rather effective means of inhibiting destructive behaviors that would have limited the survival of humankind through the ages.

To understand the importance of pain, we need look no further than to the development of children with congenital analgesia, or the inability to feel pain. In such cases, these children act without the normal inhibitions that pain normally provides. Most children are drawn to fire, but will quickly learn that fire hurts after experiencing a small burn or when their parents remind them of pain they have experienced in the past. However, children with congenital analgesia will happily play with fire and be burned or climb and jump from a tree if left unguarded only to break bones or worse. Without the ability to feel pain, these children lack the fundamental feedback mechanisms to ensure their own health.

Although pain is extremely important, there are times at which it occurs, yet fails to serve any useful function. Such is the case when pain occurs for those with fibromyalgia, neuralgia or forms of nerve damage. In these cases, the firing of the nerves to indicate pain does not protect, but is only the result of the condition.

In a similar situation, the pains experienced as a result of aging serve no real useful purpose. The pains exist because evolution does not take into account the wear we endure from aging and simply allowed our bodies to continue to tell us that our joints are rubbing or our muscles are strained despite the fact that we can do little about it.

One last important area in which pain serves no purpose is in the chronic pain experienced by those with many degenerative diseases and cancer. In these cases, our bodies continue to tell us that something is very wrong despite the inability of the body to correct the problem. The issue here is that the brain does not provide the built-in ability to recognize that the pain is no longer serving a useful function and should be ignored.

All this unnecessary pain has significant effects on those who experience it. Chronic pain causes fatigue, interferes with sleep and can cause depression and anxiety in many sufferers. Some studies have found rewiring of the brain circuitry in those with chronic pain. Chronic pain sufferers will often have difficulty even leading normal day-to-day lives. From the view of the patient, the pain does nothing to aid them in improving their condition. From the view of the body, the expression of pain is no longer simply unnecessary, but is in fact destructive to overall bodily health.

To combat chronic pain, the roughly 20 to 30% of the population that suffer from it will turn to many options. These options range from forms of exercise to alternative therapies such as acupressure and acupuncture, to both off the shelf and prescription forms of painkillers, all the way to the use of opiates and the medical use of marijuana. The effectiveness and side effects of each approach varies considerably and different people will use varying approaches based on their level of pain, the level of relief and the tolerance to side effects. In addition, risks of addiction and the duration of effectiveness are also important factors that affect the use of pain reduction techniques.

With chronic pain being such a debilitator, there are two areas of research that are important to pain management. One finding from a few years ago was that those playing immersive video games were less aware of their pain. This finding is important because it suggests that there are ways to cause the brain to feel less pain simply through a form of training or distraction. The obvious result of this is the potential for reduction in use of drugs with negative side effects.

Another very recent finding that is important was the development of a very slow release anesthetic by the Children's Hospital Boston. The creators of the specialized fat particle capable of slow, safe release of a painkiller suggest that it could release anesthetic for durations as long as months after a single injection. This development is very important because it could allow the minimal required dose for pain control to be administered over long periods to minimize toxicity to the body and side effects to the patient More importantly, it could allow chronic pain sufferers the ability to become functioning, happy members of society by eliminating the daily and often hourly battle against pain.

While pain itself is not our enemy, to those with chronic pain the persistent suffering is likely to cause a difference of opinion. When the need to manage the pain overrides most other daily activities and impedes the ability to stay healthy, it is no longer serving its intended purpose and needs to be turned off. It is in these situations that pain, the messenger, needs to be told that they have been heard, but are no longer telling us anything useful.

Related Links:

http://www.springerlink.com/content/c822w12311710276/
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070802/pain_series_3_070802?s_name=&no_ads=
http://www.pain.com/
http://webhome.idirect.com/~readon/pain.html
http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2008/11/26/brain-crps.html
.html
http://anesthesia.medicine.dal.ca/clinical/pmu/patients/facts-about-chronic-pain.php
http://www.pfizer.ca/english/newsroom/press%20releases/default.asp?s=1&year=2007&releaseID=253
http://www.medicalmarijuanainformation.com/therapeuticuses/patientGroups.php?groupID=18
http://www.disabled-world.com/medical/pharmaceutical/marijuana/
http://www.worksafesask.ca/files/wcb_sask/chronic_pain.htm
http://novanewsnet.ukings.ca/nova_news_3588_14433.html
http://www.canada.com/topics/news/story.html?id=2cb8529a-56a7-4397-91e1-a9efe730b578&k=49980
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090415113332.htm







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Post: #8
10-30-2014, 02:31 PM
member55690 Offline
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RE: Seeking a Life Without Chronic Pain

This is an absolutely great discussion. Kudos to admin for an excellent starting post and for the responses as well. I have always maintained that <strong>"Pain is the messenger".</strong> Ignoring the message and or the messenger does not do anything to fix the problem.

Some people have no option but to take pain medication and or surgery. However, it all depends on the diagnoses. Pain meds and or surgery is the equivalent of "ignoring the messenger". My guideline on meds and surgery is first to look at what is the root cause. If you have a sudden trauma, such as an accident which causes a fracture and or physical damage, then meds and or surgery are sometimes needed.

If however, like most, the chronic pain is a gradual build up. The quick fix will likely not work because the root cause or the source of the pain, has not been addressed. Surgery is almost always on the site of the pain and not the source. Meds is the equivalent of ignoring the message. The body will eventually send you more messages in greater frequency which will manifest itself as other areas of pain (e.g. knees, then back, then shoulders etc.). When the pain starts to show up in the extremities of the body (ankles, wrists, neck, headaches, dizziness, vertigo), it's a sign that the body has compensated so much already for the dysfunctions, that it is nearing its limit. The failsafe and protective mechanisms are starting to kick in soon to shut you down in order to prevent further damage. This, for example, is why most people with ankles, wrists, neck and head pains have difficuly performing activities necessary for daily living.

My apologies to those who are suffering from chronic pain. I realize that discussions like these can sometimes seem insensitive, especially if you are in severe pain.

Hope this helps.




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Post: #9
08-04-2017, 10:29 AM
member82109 Offline
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RE: Seeking a Life Without Chronic Pain

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