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What is pain?

Acute pain is an unpleasant sensation and emotional experience usually caused by tissue damage. However, you can have pain with no tissue damage to muscles, tendons, bones or nerves when pain becomes chronic.

It is a complex interaction of biological and psycho-social factors.

Pain threshold vs tolerance

Pain threshold is the minimum intensity at which a person begins to perceive, or sense, a stimulus as being painful.

Pain tolerance, is the maximum amount of pain a person can tolerate or bear.

Role of drugs and intervention

Pain threshold can be modified by drugs and other medical interventions because there is a link to a stimulus.

Mental preparation may not reduce your threshold to pain.

But pain tolerance can be highly modulated by your mental state.

Multi-dimensional aspect of pain

Stress, insomnia, depression, genetic, gender, your brain, and exercise level are additional factors which can influenced the way you perceived and manage pain.

Some research shows that regular exposure to painful stimuli can increase one’s pain tolerance, while others believe that regular exposure to pain actually reduces pain tolerance because the nerve endings become sensitised and generate more pain signals for a given degree of stimulus.

Types of intervention

Western medicine advancement has contributed positively to acute pain treatment and management.

With chronic pain, a terrible triad calls for multidisciplinary approach. Don’t forget natural health professionals like acupuncturist, nutritionist, counselling and body work therapy in your treatment plan.

Integrative medicine

An approach to medical care that recognizes the benefits of combining conventional (standard) therapies (such as drugs and surgery) with complementary therapies (such as acupuncture and yoga) that have been shown to be safe and effective is known as Integrative Medicine.

Integrative medicine tries to address the physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and environmental factors that can affect a person’s health and well-being.

Integrative medicine aims for well-coordinated care among different providers and specialists. Hence relationships between you and your healthcare providers are important.

Next article: Know more about Shoulder Pain