Pain (Chronic Pain)
Pain is something that every living being experiences from time to time. In fact, it acts as an alarm within our body’s system. When we feel pain, we can usually assume something is wrong. Find out how to prevent pain and how to treat it.
Types of Pain
The body experiences four types of pain: nociceptive, inflammatory, neuropathic, and functional.
Nociceptive pain is the pain we feel when the body is attacked by something outside of the system (stubbed toe, cuts, burns, etc.).
Neuropathic pain happens when the nerves become irritated (slipped disc, sprain, stress, etc.).
Functional pain is the term we use for all other pain in the body.
Pain in Common Areas of the Body
Unfortunately, pain can be felt throughout the body. Pain is there to warn us that something might be wrong. Got a headache? You might be dehydrated? Back hurt? You could have a flipped disc. Sore throat? You might be getting a cold or the flu.
Yet just because you’re feeling pain, doesn’t mean you need to suffer through it until the cause of your symptoms is cured.
Some of the most common areas patients report pain in the body include:
- Back pain (upper, mid, and lower)
- Foot pain
- Gastrointestinal pain
- Knee pain
- Neck pain
- Sore limbs
- Sore throat
- Stomach ache
- Tooth pain
What Causes Pain?
Pain exists to warn us that something could be wrong in our body. Unfortunately, our bodies sometimes feel pain — even when there isn’t anything wrong. Some pain is considered ‘good’ (after a workout, our muscles feel sore, but in a good way), while other pain (such as from a broken bone or stress) lets us know that we need to see a doctor or make a lifestyle change.
Just some of the top causes of pain are:
- Physical contact (lesions, bruises, etc.)
- Broken bones
- Torn ligaments
There’s evidence suggesting that the mind/body link is even tighter than we originally thought. That means that our thoughts can trigger biological responses that lead to pain.
Scientists believe that everything from stress to loneliness can lead to chronic pain and illnesses — and even lead to cancer! That’s why staying mentally healthy is just as important as keeping an eye on your physical health. Chatting with an online psychologist or psychiatrist can help prevent physical pain and ailments.
How to Prevent Pain & Chronic Pain
We feel pain when something is out of balance in our bodies. Preventing pain isn’t easy, but it’s easier than fixing the pain after we begin to feel symptoms. To prevent pain, we must maintain our health through good nutrition, annual checkups, and basic self-care maintenance. The best ways to prevent pain are:
- Stay hydrated
- Get at least eight hours of sleep each night
- Practice good posture
- Reduce stress and anxiety through meditation and health apps, mindfulness practices, and talk therapy
- Schedule an annual appointment with your primary care provider
- Eat foods that support your hormones
- Get your biomarkers checked to understand predispositions to certain diseases
- Get plenty of exercise each day
- Take vitamins and supplements to support your overall health
Medical Treatments for Pain & Chronic Pain
Once you begin to feel pain, you should seek treatment immediately. There are plenty of over-the-counter and prescription medications for all types of pain. Your doctor can also recommend lifestyle changes to help prevent pain in the future.
Just some of the treatments that can help ease the pain and other symptoms of pain include:
- OTC pain medications
- Prescription pain medications
- Physical therapy
- CBD oil
- Anti-nausea medicine
- Meditation and mindfulness
- Massage therapy
- Allergy medicine/injections
- Steroid treatments
- Antacid medicine
- Botox injections
We can try to avoid pain or ignore it, but it just keeps coming back until we address its causes. Talk to your doctor when you feel pain, and make regular appointments to prevent it in the future.