Got Pain?

Pain, Courtesy Google Images

Here's where I insert some gimmicky blurb about how you don't have to suffer in pain and if you try this treatment all your pain problems will disappear. Well, you probably don't need another ad telling you what's best for you. The title was to grab your attention; because let's face it, shameless marketing excites our curiosity. However for this article, I'm going to give you the facts and simply educate you about other pain-relief options. By the end, YOU be the judge as to whether you think this may help you.

What is pain?

I'll attempt to explain as simply as I can, but please note, pain is no simple process.

We can all agree pain is a sensation, often described as uncomfortable, that makes us notice what is happening in our bodies. Pain is a message...a communication between the brain and body. Pain is not what is released by your actual tissues, but rather, what is perceived by your mind. That's right folks, pain is all in your head! Its significance is a very complex protective mechanism. For the purposes of this article, most of us experience pain as an alert to stop or change a behavior in order to protect our bodies from further harm or injury. However, that is only the tip of the iceberg about our understanding of pain, and beyond the scope of this article.

How big an issue is pain?

Pain is a huge problem in our society! Millions of people suffer from muscle and joint pain everyday. Did you know 1 in 4 Americans have suffered from pain lasting more than 24-hours (1)? Pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease, and cancer...COMBINED! Chronic pain is the most common cause of long-term disability. Pain costs us billions upon billions of dollars every year in healthcare expenses, time-off from work and/or school, funding for development of new treatments and therapies, decreased quality of life, and DEATH (2). Wait! Did I say...Yes...I said death.

Are people dying from pain?

Not necessarily pain itself, but from the treatments for pain. How many of you reading this are taking a prescription pain medication right now-oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, and fentanyl to name a few?

Infographic for Prescription Drug Abuse Courtesy Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center