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Understanding your pain and why cant find a cure!

alexhurtingaalexhurting Posts: 1,991
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Chronic Pain
Time Magazine said:

Healing the Hurt
By Alice Park Friday, Mar. 04, 2011

Pain is the human bodyguard, the cop on the beat racing to the scene, sirens wailing, shutting down traffic. You've been cut, burned, broken: pay attention, stop the bleeding, apply heat, apply cold, do something. It's one of life's most primitive mechanisms, by which even the simplest creature, if it has anything like a central nervous system, learns to avoid danger, stay out of bad neighborhoods, hunker down to give itself time to heal. Pain is protective. Don't do that, it commands — and the command is usually a wise one. So this sensation we seek most to avoid is in fact one of the most essential ones for our survival.

But what happens when pain goes rogue, when it sends off false alarms so that all the sirens keep sounding, all the cops keep coming, all the hurts keep hurting? If even benign stimuli get distilled down to a single, primal Ouch!, then pain ceases to be adaptive. Rather than saving lives, it wrecks them. Rather than helping you get well or stay safe, it becomes an illness in itself. The result: persistent, unceasing torment.
(Read about kids and concussions.)

That's the situation that more than 76 million Americans face. Their pain can last for days or even weeks at a time, then dissipate, only to return. The problem may be caused by something as common as arthritis, an inflammation of the joints that makes them throb with discomfort. The issue could be fibromyalgia, in which a breakdown of pain signals leaves joints, muscles and tissues hypersensitive. It may be a nerve disorder known as neuropathy, triggered by diseases as diverse as cancer and diabetes. It may be that the cause is unidentifiable. Many cases of chronic pain remain unexplained, but they hurt all the same.

There's no telling who the victims of chronic pain will be, but there are ways of determining who is at highest risk. About 10% of people who have surgery, even relatively routine procedures such as knee or back operations, for example, will never be the same again, suffering a lifetime of generalized pain that may start from the incision site but is eventually diffused to other parts of the body. Around 20% of cancer patients will continue to feel pain two years after the surgery or chemotherapy that may have saved their lives. For all of them, pain is not merely a symptom but a disease in itself, one that doctors have only recently come to recognize.
(See TIME's special report "How to Live 100 Years.")
But recognizing a disease is only a prelude to treating it, and doctors admit that while they're pretty good at relieving the acute pain that occurs immediately after surgery or an injury, they are usually stymied by the chronic kind. The most common complaint doctors hear from their patients is about pain that will not quit, and more than 80% of those people never receive treatment — or at least not an effective one. About a decade ago, physicians took the first step toward acknowledging the prevalence of pain and their inadequate ability to address it by including pain assessment as a vital sign along with blood pressure, respiratory rate, heart rate and temperature. "As a clinician, I'm frustrated, and I'm sure many patients are, because we do a very poor job in terms of providing relief for chronic pain," says David Borsook of the McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

To address that frustration, this summer, an expert panel convened by the Institute of Medicine — the independent scientific advisory arm of the National Academies — will release a report on the latest advances in understanding chronic pain and highlight the need for an all-encompassing approach that treats it as a disease of both brain and body. A strategy that lays bare the multitude of body systems involved in maintaining a world of chronic hurt also presents a multitude of treatment opportunities for science to exploit.

Brain-imaging studies and research in genetic and molecular biology, for example, suggest that a brain in chronic pain looks and acts differently from a normal brain and that the phenomenon can even run both ways: haywire circuits cause the brain to register persistent pain, which in turn leads to changes — perhaps permanent — in the way the brain and body work. All this suggests entirely new routes toward eliminating pain or at least managing it better.

"There has been a shift in thinking away from pain as only a sensory experience," says Dr. A neurologist at Children's Hospital Boston. "Rather than targeting the suppression of pain as a symptom, the best treatment now has to be targeted at preventing pain as a disease. That insight really changes the way we understand pain."
Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
2012 scs implant ,


  • Alex is this a quote from an article? Sounds kinda technical and authoritative.
  • Yes its from an article. I thought it was very informative for posibly new people coming in. I tried to edit out the names just in case but i was only able to do it on the bottom portion. I figured as long as its not advertising it will be ok for its just a interesting article

    Actualy i was searching for new chronic pain treatment i seen on tv today that was very interesring that will help with nerve pain treatment. It was on the news but could not find it just came across this.
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
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  • Thank you for posting. Very interesting and hopefully we'll see some help someday
  • Scientists have known about the HCN2 gene, found in nerve endings, for several years. But they didn't fully understand it's role in regulating pain until now.

    The research in the journal Science finds that removing or blocking this gene eliminates neuropathic pain without affecting normal pain sensation.

    This was the latest news i heard on tv about finaly posibly some of there research might pay off for us who suffer from this nerve pain. I just hope this helps them find a beter drug in my lifetime to have a beter life.

    Sadly its not often enough we hear anything about chronic pain and how it should be recognized on television. Maybe if the news ran more stories we would not have so much issues of others not understanding this pain is real and you cant fake pain like this.

    Anytime i hear anything on the news about chronic pain i am all ears hoping maybe finaly they figured it out and maybe this is finaly our time to live again like it was ment to be. I see post about chronic pain awareness month! I am not even sure what that is.

    I am aware of chronic pain but do i believe its actualy recognized around the world as if it was some kind of holiday? No! Are people runing marathons to raise money to find a cure for chronic pain as they do for cancer and other illness?

    If they are then i must of missed it. If chronic pain affects so many in the U.S.A. How can it be so missunderstud by so many? If they covered chronic pain as much as they cover people with drug addiction maybe people would be able to seperate the 2

    In my view this is the only way this problem of so many here having family and friends who dont understand chronic pain ,
    but they know plenty of the drug addiction for thats all they see all over the media.

    So i ask you! Where is the chronic pain awareness? The answer is in here is about it because you have to look very far before you stumble upon any awareness out there!

    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • I read the article on that link. It said after few months of chronic pain brain begins to shrink!

    Oh man. Now that explains a lot. I am way beyond months its been years already not months. No wonder last mri of the brain showed nothing,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
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  • Hi,
    This explains (again) why I was not getting answers when I would see a doctor about the reason for the severity of my pain.

    I was in a MVA in my teens that caused a lumbar compound fracture. It caused me some mild pain for many years, but it wasn't until I reached my 40's that it became a serious pain problem. And it's not just in my lower back anymore. The pain is everywhere.

    I got fed up with the doctors in my local town, population 100,000 so I decided to go see the "big guns" at a big renowned teaching hospital in a large city. They told me it didn't matter what had caused my pain, that now my disease was chronic pain.

    It took me awhile to get my mind around the idea that pain is in of itself is a disease. But when I thought about it long enough it began to make sense. Nice to see an article that confirms it.

    Unfortunately when I tell doctors back home about it, none of them get it, and or don't believe it, they brush my words aside like they don't mean a thing.

    I really wish the rest of the medical community would catch up with the latest findings about chronic pain! And that's my rant for the day. :-)

    Plus I wanted to bump this post back up because I think the article is very important for people to read.

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