What is pain?

Feeling pain is something that everyone can relate to, whether it’s backache, knee pain, etc. By many definitions, pain is an unpleasant sensation that tells the body something is wrong. Of course, it can take many forms and be experienced in varying degrees. But where does pain come from? In this article we look at this important mechanism in our body.

Why does it hurt and where does the pain come from?

Pain is a signal sent by our brain when something goes wrong in our body. Pain can occur anywhere and in many different ways: a tingling, a stinging, a burning, a throbbing sensation, etc. In addition, it is important to consider that each person has his or her own way of feeling and living with pain. This is due to psychosocial factors such as personality, education, socio-cultural environment, etc.

In all cases, pain is an adaptation and protection mechanism.

It is our nervous system that sends signals to the brain that something is happening. It can be in a limb, a joint, an organ, etc. The nerve sensor cells along the nerves then send the signals to the brain, via the spinal cord. This causes us to take the necessary actions to protect ourselves: stop the painful movement, remove our hand from the burning pot, etc.

In many cases, especially when suffering an injury or fighting an infection, pain is accompanied by familiar signs of inflammation. These include redness and warmth in the affected area, as well as edema (swelling) of the area.

Inflammation is another mechanism of the body to help it heal. The signs associated with inflammation are due to the increased blood flow to the affected area. This helps to promote tissue healing when there is some form of injury, or to allow the immune system to fight pathogens that cause an infection.

Acute pain VS chronic pain

It is important to distinguish between these two types of pain.

Acute pain

Acute pain is a type of pain that we have all experienced. It occurs for different reasons, such as trauma, a fall, overuse of a muscle, a burn, etc. Infections can also cause acute headaches and localized pain. The intensity of an acute pain is usually sudden, but it diminishes as it heals. It usually disappears after a few days or weeks. Treatment of acute pain often requires rest and anti-inflammatory medication. Ice is recommended in the acute phase, in the days following an injury, to reduce blood flow to the affected area and decrease signs of inflammation.

Chronic pain

In terms of "chronic" pain, it must have been present for at least three months to be considered chronic. Chronic pain can be constant or occur in episodes of varying duration and intensity. In some cases, it is the result of an injury that has not healed properly or of repeated microtrauma, for example when working in non-ergonomic conditions. In other cases, it results from an autoimmune disease that disrupts the body's immune response or inflammatory mechanisms within the body. These can be caused, for example, by overweight and obesity.

It is important to understand that there is an important psychological component to chronic pain. In the long term, it can lead to significant distress, even depression and suicidal thoughts. It often requires multidisciplinary management, including modern medicine, alternative medicine and mental health treatments.

Managing pain

As we have understood, pain is an important mechanism to protect us. It should not be ignored. Without treatment and proper management, acute pain can develop into a chronic condition. If symptoms persist, do not hesitate to seek the advice of a health professional. He or she can then determine the cause of the pain and suggest the appropriate treatment.

Genacol now offers a solution for managing musculoskeletal pain, which is frequent among the population. Genacol Fast Action provides analgesic effects to control the intensity of pain in just 3 hours. This natural product is an effective solution for temporarily relieving a multitude of pains that can affect you on a daily basis, such as soreness, shoulder or neck pain, and back pain.

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