When you stub your toe or bang your head on a cabinet door, you know you’re about to be in pain. But why do we feel pain, and how can understanding pain help us deal with it? Pain is a response signaling that your body is injured or damaged in some way. Or that something isn’t right, in the case of illnesses, headaches, and other conditions.
September 14th, 2020 by Kailo Labs.
Before we get into understanding pain and the types of it, let’s go over the basics of your nervous system. Without it, you wouldn’t feel pain in the first place.
Pain is linked to your nervous system, which consists of your spinal cord and brain. Together, they form your central nervous system. Your motor and sensory nerves, known as the peripheral nervous system, are connected to your central nervous system. Nerves tell your brain what is happening in your environment through the spinal cord. Your brain then sends information back to your nerves so that your body responds appropriately.
Why Do We Feel Pain? Acute vs. Chronic
Pain comes in two primary types: acute pain and chronic pain. In short, acute pain is short-term and chronic pain is long-term, but there’s more to it than a simple breakdown.
- Spraining your ankle
- Scraping your knee
- Breaking your arm
- Tearing your hamstring
- Cutting your finger with a knife
- Getting surgery to fix a hernia
When your body is injured, the sensory nerves fire and tell your spinal cord that something is wrong. The spinal cord takes this message to the brain to decide how badly you’re hurt and what to do now. Based on your past experiences, your brain will pick from endless possible responses and decide to make your body cry, increase your heart rate, or release adrenaline.
The severity of the pain will lessen with time. When your injury has healed or is mostly better, the acute pain will subside.
Chronic pain is different from acute pain and is defined as pain that lasts for three months or more (or longer than the expected healing time). In this case, your pain receptors continue to fire even when you are not directly injured.
Diseases and other conditions that damage your body can result in chronic pain, as can old injuries. Sometimes even doctors can’t pin down the cause. Some common examples include:
- Poor posture
- Improper lifting technique
- Being overweight
- Traumatic injury
- Poor mattress quality
- No obvious physical cause
Why Do We Feel Pain? Other Causes of Pain
Pain responses are highly individual, and everyone has a different tolerance. What is excruciating for one person might only be slightly uncomfortable to someone else. Pain signals also pass through the thinking and emotional regions of your brain, which means that what you experience is shaped by a wide range of factors. From your memories and past experiences to your current social and psychological state, almost anything can contribute to how you feel pain.
Don't take this to mean that you can change your perspective to eliminate an acute or chronic pain condition though. Pain has real causes and needs real solutions. Other things that may influence how you feel pain include:
- Coping methods
- Long-term conditions
- Current prescriptions
With the potential influence of some or all of these factors, you can appreciate the complexity of the issue. Pain management specialists often address complete wellbeing when treating chronic pain for this exact reason.
Now, after this brief primer on pain, you’re probably eager to do something about it. From an acute issue like a sprained ankle to a chronic issue like fibromyalgia, the Kailo pain patch can help reduce or eliminate your pain. Apply Kailo to any area of your body for any pain issue to experience relief.