Pain is a complex, subjective and confusing phenomenon. Every person reacts differently to pain, depending on his or her awareness and capacity to bear it. Chronic or intense pain can be the result of an underlying condition and can cause acute distress to the sufferer. Some people have a high pain threshold, which means they can tolerate pain better than others. The capacity to endure pain reduces as one grows older; though, with a strong mind, one can overcome the debilitating effects of pain at any age.
The International Association for the Study of Pain defines the condition as
“An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage.”
Pain can be managed and resolved with various treatment options, including medication, surgery, therapy, and mind-body techniques such as yoga and its associated disciplines.
Pain is broadly categorized into acute pain and chronic pain.
While acute pain is usually short term and treated with medication, chronic pain is often resistant to medical treatment. Pain is mostly associated with damage caused to the skin, tissue, muscles, bones, visceral organs, joints, tendons and nerves.
The severity of pain and the complications thereof depend on the injury or another health condition. To a large extent, complications can be avoided with proper understanding, diagnosis and management of pain. Doctors often treat symptoms of pain because they cannot find the cause. This can delay medical treatment and prolong a patient’s suffering.
In most situations, Pain Management is possible by simply being MOBILE:
M: Movement is a must. Doctors and physiatrists recommend movement and advise against sitting still (except in a few cases) to overcome injury-related pain. This improves blood circulation to the affected area, strengthens tissues and muscles, and speeds up the healing process.
O: Avoid self-medication or being your own doctor. Popping painkillers without a prescription will ease the pain temporarily and even lead to drug dependency. Besides, painkillers, when combined with other medicines, can have either a synergic or a contrary effect on the body. This can result in side-effects and even prove fatal.
B: A better understanding of various treatment options helps overcome the injury and pain faster. It is also possible to treat injuries with little or no medication, by relying on physical therapy, psychotherapy and counseling.
I: While interventional treatment options are available in severe cases, one should avoid these unless recommended by the doctor. The first line of treatment should be to let the injury heal itself.
L: Lifestyle modification such as a change in diet and exercise can provide relief from physical pain. Ask a qualified nutritionist for a list of foods that can aggravate pain. Then make a conscious effort to avoid eating blacklisted food, however tasty it may be.
E: Never hesitate to seek expert medical advice. Trust a medical professional enough to deal with the problem.