Pain. It's a Good Thing.
Nobody likes it. Everybody fights it. Wouldn't it be nice to live without it?
There is a fairly rare condition called "congenital insensitivity to pain" in which a person quite literally never feels pain. In these individuals, their nerves may not transmit the pain, or their brains may not interpret the pain signals correctly. Doesn't that sound like a wonderful world? A world where none of your actions or activities will be hindered because of that piercing physical sensation we call pain?
Unfortunately, it turns out that congenital insensitivity to pain is a terrible and horrifying disease. Ask Roberto. Ask Gabby. Ask Ashlyn. The reason is very simple: pain is a signal that something is not right in your body. It signals you to stop doing whatever is hurting your body. It signals you to refuel your body when necessary. It signals you when tissues are being destroyed.
If you had no pain, you wouldn't know to remove your hand from the hot stove. This could cause a life-threatening burn.
If you had no pain, you wouldn't know that you had just broken your ankle while playing basketball. And you might continue to play, causing further injury and soft tissue damage.
If you had no pain, you wouldn't know where the apple stopped and your fingers began. This could cause serious hand damage when slicing fruit and vegetables.
If you had no pain, you would never shift your body from one uncomfortable position to a more comfortable position. This could cause chronic ligament damage.
If you had no pain, you would never know when your stomach acid is splashing on the lower lining of your esophagus. This could cause chronic esophagitis and lead to life-threatening complications.
If you had no pain, you would never know that your appendix is bursting. This could also be life-threatening.
The examples are nearly endless. Pain is our first defense, our early-warning system against destruction and death. Why then do we Americans spend about $20 billion a year on pain medications? It's almost as though we think the pain is the problem: "If only I didn't have pain, then I could do [insert activity here]."
But the pain is not the problem... In fact, pain is the stimulus that is supposed to help us find the solution. The solution is not to turn off the pain. The solution is to hunt and find the cause of the problem. We are supposed to wonder what is causing the pain. We are supposed to be curious about the source of the tissue damage. We are supposed to remove ourselves from danger. But the more we turn off the pain signals, the more danger we invite.
Living with pain is a very difficult thing, and sometimes pain medication is the only solution. In most cases, however, the pain is useful, because it spurs us on to find help.
Most people who first come to Johnson Family Chiropractic come because they have listened to their pain. Patients tend to stay at Johnson Family Chiropractic because they appreciate the health-giving support that we provide. If your pain is telling you to do something about it, then consider calling your local Peoria chiropractor to see if Johnson Family Chiropractic is right for you.
10/17/2012 10:44:31 am
You're exactly right. We all wish we could be pain free and some are, but pain is an indicator for us. We need it to tell us when to stop and when to seek medical attention. Without it, we continue with our bodies hurting and we never know.
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Unless otherwise attributed, all content is written by Kyle Johnson, DC, of Johnson Family Chiropractic of Peoria.
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