5 Facts About the Pain You Probably Didn't Know

5 Facts About the Pain You Probably Didn't Know
pinterest.com

A sensation of pain is not always preceded by physical impact. People feel pain not only when falling onto the asphalt from a bicycle but also after a betrayal or loss of a loved one. There is little pleasure in it but the pain is an important evolutionary mechanism that protects us from injuries, fixing the experience in our memory as a negative one. 

The extreme subjectivity of pain complicates research but existing work on the topic is enough to get answers to the most common questions, understand how pain sensitivity works, and what scientists say about it all.

1. Why Does Pain Occur?

Pain is controlled by the nervous system, which consists of the central and peripheral parts. Pain receptors nociceptors help the brain know that we are interacting with something potentially dangerous. They are activated every time the tissues are sufficiently compressed. Therefore, pain occurs if you hit your hand against the table but don’t occur if you hit the pillow with the same fist.

A reaction to danger can be an instant urge to move away from it, as to pull your hand away from the hot and this is how reflexes work. If a person has managed to get burned, the pain will continue. When a signal reaches the brain, it travels to several different areas in its cortex for interpretation. 

Those parts of the brain determine where the pain came from, whether it is similar to a previous experience, and what kind of pain it is. Then the limbic system forms its own response, which is why one type of pain makes us cry, another makes us angry, and a third makes us sweat. 

2. Why the Topic of Chronic Pain Is so Popular?

Pain that lasts at least 12 weeks is considered chronic pain. Unlike acute pain, it does not occur as a response to a threat to survival and generally has no useful purpose. More than one and a half billion people all over the world experience some form of chronic pain. Women, smokers, and people who are overweight are all at increased risk of developing chronic pain.

As for treatment, scientists are still trying to find new alternatives to opioids, which over time can cause addiction. There are advances in this matter and a good potential is demonstrated by the effect on certain parts of the brain by using electrodes and Botox injections. Such methods are already being used for chronic back pain treatment. The problem is that this method seems to be effective only for people with a certain brain structure.

3. Phantom Pain

Patients after limb amputation often report that they continue to feel a lost arm or leg. They not only feel its presence but are faced with pain that interferes with normal life. Scientists believe that this is due to the non-adaptive plasticity of the brain, a situation where changes in the brain lead to a negative result which is a kind of program error in the body.

For a long time, there were no effective ways to deal with phantom pains and patients were mainly recommended cognitive-behavioral therapy. In 2018, the Swedish professor Max Ortiz Katalan proposed the use of virtual reality glasses to alleviate the symptoms. As a basis, he takes the hypothesis that pains in the amputated limb can provoke left-over neurons that turn on randomly.

4. Why a Broken Heart Really Hurts?

Visualization of the brain shows that when we look at photographs of our ex-lovers who were the initiators of the break, the same parts of the brain that work when we feel physical pain are activated. This applies not only to romantic relationships but also to the loss of a friend or even a colleague.

Perhaps the human evolutionary need for social connections has led to the fact that the brain does not always see the difference between physical and emotional pain. This is also confirmed by the fact that people who in an experiment took paracetamol for several weeks reported less daily “social pain”.

5. Strange Ways to Deal With Pain

Experiments show that not only pain killers can help us cope with minor pain. Ginger and turmeric may also be effective. When applied locally, plasters and gels with capsaicin, the main component of red pepper, can help.

The children's habit of holding their mom's hand when the doctor takes a blood test or gives an injection has a completely scientific basis. Due to the synchronization of heart rhythms and respiratory rate, the pain actually becomes weaker. This alternative anesthesia option is less dubious than beer, which according to some researchers may work better than paracetamol.

Similar Articles

Woman laying down with cucumber slices over her eyes and a bowl of sliced cucumbers by her head on the right hand side.

Self-care are activities that we do specifically to protect and take care of our mental, physical and emotional health. Self-care is extremely important and is a simple concept in theory, and yet it is something that is so often overlooked.

Infertility

When a couple is unable to conceive a baby naturally after trying for more than 1 year or is facing regular miscarriages then this situation is medically named as infertility. With a change in lifestyles and stressful schedules, there has been an increase in many couples seeking treatment for having a baby. 

How Can Patient Portals Improve Healthcare?

The healthcare ecosystem has undergone some profound change in the past decade, all thanks to the rapid advent and influx of modern technology. We have gone from being a traditional in-person system to being around the clock ecosystem that can monitor and engage patients whenever the need arises, even if they are not present in a healthcare facility

HIV test kit

Today, people with AIDs can live as long as people without the disease. That’s how the medical universe has undergone a sea change. But, in today’s advancing medical universe, dying of ignorance is more evident than dying of AIDs.

When and How to Wash Your Hands

​Hand washing with water and soap is one of the best and effective approaches to prevent the spread of numerous sorts of pathogenic diseases and it is the cutting edge of the barrier against the COVID-19 infection

Older woman and a young girl taking a selfie.

As you age, it is only natural that your health and wellbeing may become more fragile. However, there are steps that you can take as you age to ensure that your health, both physical and mental, stays in the best condition it can as you grow older.

7 Tips on How to Sleep Better

A good night’s sleep is vital for a person’s well-being. Although underrated, enough duration of sleep is required for the body to function properly. Improper sleep can cause dysfunction of the body’s regulatory functions as well as poor performance of the brain

5 Things Worth Investing In To Live Your Best Life

Everyone wants to live their best life, don’t they? Well, in order to achieve the best, there are a few ways that you should consider investing in yourself and your life. It is also important to remember that you can invest in yourself in a number of ways that aren’t monetary, such as time, effort, and commitment.

How Big Data Affects the Healthcare Industry

Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that the world has experienced a massive surge in the quantity of data it generates. Now, this shift has had different ramifications for different industries. But if there is one thing in common to all of them through this period of change, it has been their need for tools that can help companies make sense of this data instead of letting it all go to waste.