I have discovered that being elderly brings about many types of physical, emotional, and even chronic pain. Being old is no reason to hate pain when it brings discomfort but pain is an alert. It is a sign that something is trying to get our attention. Physical Pain becomes an alarm that alerts us that something is wrong and we need to visit our health care provider to see what the problems are.
Mental pain is an alarm also that is trying to warn us that our minds are over loaded and we are trying to handle too much and we just can’t cope. Sometimes we have to blow our tops so to speak to get some relief. Even if e have to hurt or be hurt. Mental pain call for drastic measures and acts of violence sometimes to ease our troubled minds.
Spiritual pain comes from guilt and punishment of sins. It alerts us and causes an alarm of despair when we have knowingly sinned against a loving, holy, and all wise God.
This article though is confined to the physical pain and we will deal wit the other types of pain in another article at a later date.
What is pain? The Webster-Merriam dictionary defines pain as (1) Punishment and (2 a) usu. localized physical suffering associated with bodily disorder (as a disease or an injury); also : a basic bodily sensation induced by a noxious stimulus, received by naked nerve endings, characterized by physical discomfort (as pricking, throbbing, or aching), and typically leading to evasive action. Nearly, if not all of us suffer some physical aches and pain during our life time. The difference between an ache and a pain is, with an ache it is to suffer a usually dull persistent pain. This I know from experience. There are many types and many different names for pain. Let me just name the top pains that most of us are familiar with.
There are many things that cause pain such as Rashes, itching, abdominal pain, numbness and tingling, leg pain, back pain, stress and anxiety, swollen glands, headaches, armpit l;umps, fatigue, chest pain, ankle, foot and leg swelling, joint pain, cyst, finger and toe nail pain and just for the record, sometimes some people can be a pain.
Now in pain classifications there are several but the cause of the pain and the effect of the pain may arise from different reasons. Pain may arise from injury or disease to visceral, somatic and neutral structures in the body, more broadly pain is described as malignant or non-malignant in origin.
Since this article is about physical pain, we know that it is the unpleasant and aversive feeling common to such experiences as stubbing a toe, burning a finger, putting iodine on a cut and bumping or hitting what we call the funny bone. In an International Association on the Study of pain they define pain as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of damage”. The good part about pain is that pain motivates us to withdraw from damaging or potentially damaging situations, protect the damaged body part while it heals, and avoid those situations in the future. Some pains are initiated by stimulation by damage to or malfunction of the peripheral or nervous systems. Most pain resolves promptly once the painful stimulus is removed and the body has healed. But there are times when pain persists despite removal of the stimulus and apparent healing of the body and in one study there are times when pain arises in the absence of any detectable stimulus, damage or pathology. Social support, cultural values, hypnotic suggestion, excitement in sport or war, distraction, and appraisal can all significantly control pain’s intensity and unpleasantness.
Pain is the most common reason for all of us to get physician consultation in the United States as well as other countries where services are available. It is a major symptom in many medical conditions, and can significantly interfere with the quality of life for some people. Pain medicines is a sub specialty under the neurologist, psychiatrists, physicians and the anesthesiologists.
Pain may arise from injury or disease to visceral, somatic and neural structures in the body. More broadly pain is described as malignant or non-malignant in origin. Being human, we complain about our pain no matter what kind it is or what causes it, but its only when pain becomes unbearable that we seek relief with over the counter medicines before we seek counsel from our health care providers. In some cases we wait too late especially when old age is factored in. During the aging process, mother nature takes over and fools us into thinking that without pain there will be no gain. Pain can be considered a gain only when we seek the doctors early enough to deal with the pain effectively. There can be victory over many types of pain but with some people who do not have good health care insurance or a good hospitalization alternative like being able to be treated at an urgent care center or clinic, suffering pain is an unwanted, despised, necessity. With that kind of situation, there is no gain with any pain. You are kept from doing many things. Life almost stands still. Believe you me, I know. Pain is a life alert commercial for everyone. It is a sure bet, there is no gain without pain!