Pain, an experience as universal as it is unique, varies dramatically in its qualities, intensities, and characteristics. When we speak of acute pain, we refer to a temporary, localised discomfort, often a body’s response to injury or illness. On the other hand, pain that persists over time, evolving into chronic pain, can become an independent medical condition.
Chronic pain, yet to be universally defined, is a deeply personal experience, perceived differently by everyone. It’s not always linked to a clear physical ailment and can greatly influence quality of life. In England, an estimated 34% of the population, or roughly 15.5 million people, live with chronic pain. Among them, approximately 5.5 million people grapple with chronic pain that significantly affects their ability to carry out daily activities.
So, what is pain and what triggers it? Discover everything you need to know in this in-depth blog.
What is pain?
Feeling pain is an essential trait of living organisms, acting as a critical survival tool. It serves as an alarm system that warns us against harm, protecting us from injury, illness, and even death. In fact, about 80% of all nerve fibres outside the brain and spinal cord are associated with this pain-detection system. Pain receptors are present in almost every part of our body, except for the brain and liver tissues.
Pain is detected by specialised nerve fibres called nociceptors, found throughout our bodies. These nociceptors pick up various signals, including mechanical forces, temperature changes, and certain chemical substances that are released during injuries or infections.
They then send these signals via the spinal cord to the brain, where they’re interpreted as pain.
Acute pain plays a vital role in our survival. Typically, its source can be pinpointed with precision. The physical responses that follow aim to facilitate the resting and recovery of injured or afflicted body parts, thereby thwarting additional harm.
Chronic pain, meanwhile, can drastically reduce an individual’s quality of life, leading to far-reaching repercussions. Impaired work capabilities, even to the extent of premature retirement, can negatively impact a person’s lifestyle. The significant amount of sick leave taken due to chronic pain also carries an economic significance.
What causes pain?
There are various manifestations of pain and pain syndromes. The most prevalent types include:
- Cancer-related pain
- Joint pain (as seen in rheumatism and osteoarthritis)
- Throat and ear pain
- Menstrual pain
- Nerve pain
In older patients, pain often results from conditions like osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, fractures, rheumatism, tumours, and diabetes mellitus. The existence of moderate to severe pain can be risk factors for the development of chronic pain after surgery.
Treating chronic pain with MBST
MBST presents a promising avenue for managing chronic pain. This non-invasive method stimulates the natural healing processes in the body, targeting the root cause of the issue rather than just the symptoms.
By regenerating cells at the site of pain, MBST encourages the body’s innate ability to heal, restoring normal function and reducing pain. This therapeutic approach can be particularly effective for conditions like osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and rheumatism, which are common sources of chronic pain.
It’s important to remember that MBST is not a quick fix. It’s a therapy that works gradually, aiming to offer sustainable relief from chronic pain over time. As with any treatment, results can vary from person to person, but many patients have reported significant improvement in their pain levels and overall quality of life after undergoing MBST treatment.
To determine if MBST is right for you, call 020 3282 7553 to schedule an appointment with MBST London.