Pain is an uncomfortable feeling - it’s telling you that something is wrong. It can be steady, throbbing, stabbing, aching, pinching, or described in many other ways. Sometimes it is tolerable like a mild headache or a tummy ache but pain can be debilitating.
What causes Pain?
It is caused by a message sent by receptors in the body from a certain area to the brain which tells you that there is something wrong. It is a vital part of our lives - without pain, for example, how would we know we’ve touched something hot? If we were unable to feel it- we could cause a lot of injury to our bodies.The most common types of pain:
- Acute pain is a sudden sharp pain - like the pain of a broken bone or a burn.
- Chronic pain is pain that lasts a long time - like experiencing pain everyday for 3 - 6 months
- Neuropathic pain is pain caused by nerve damage - could be numbness in an area or even a burning sensation
- Nociceptive pain is caused by tissue damage - like the pain of a stubbed toe or a sports injury
- Radicular pain is caused by damage to the spine - like a compressed spinal nerve
For more information about the types of pain, checkout this article on Healthline
Alternatively you can also watch this quick video that explains what pain is in less than 5 minutes.
How to treat it?
It is important to see a doctor if you are suffering from pain to find the cause. Your doctor will try to find the cause of the pain and treat it as efficiently as possible. You will most likely be prescribed an over the counter painkiller like ibuprofen and paracetamol. For extreme pain, you may be given an opioid as treatment. It is always important to ask your doctor for the side effects of these drugs and the long term effect. For example, ibuprofen can have negative effects on your stomach lining if used for an extended period. Alongside the treatment prescribed by the doctor - we’d recommend these 5 easy steps to reduce the pain.
4 easy ways to prevent pain naturally
Get a good night's sleep
Sleep is vital to mental and physical wellbeing. Go to bed early and make sure to get a really good, peaceful night's sleep to help fight the pain. Avoid watching television and engaging on your phone just before bed time. Take a nice warm bath, listen to music or read a book just before bedtime to help you go to sleep.
Exercise releases endorphins leaving you feeling revitalized and well. Just half an hour of exercise a day can help you sleep better at night and keep your muscles active and toned. Exercise doesn’t need to be physically stressful - tai chi, yoga and walking are good examples of easy exercise.
Sunshine is incredibly important for mental wellbeing. Sunlight helps boost serotonin in your brain which can help give you more energy and keep you feeling calm and positive. Most importantly - sunlight helps fight depression which is commonly linked to chronic pain.
A healthy diet
A healthy diet with lots of fruit and vegetables can give your body all the vitamins and minerals it needs to rebuild and repair your body and help restore your body to its healthy and stable self. Remember to drink a few glasses of water everyday to keep hydrated.
Pain and opioids
Doctors often prescribe opioids as treatment for pain - while the opioids work for the pain, it can create an addiction to the drugs when used for an extended period. Besides the risk of addiction - most opioids and over the counter painkillers have negative side effects like negative effects on your gut, dizziness, nausea, constipation and sleepiness.
In a recent article by Forbes (2021) magazine they stated that these heavily promoted and widely prescribed opioid pain relievers were developed in the 1990s in response to the very real problem of neglected and poorly treated chronic pain. In a way, chronic pain is a parallel “crisis” alongside the opioids “crisis,” and inseparably bound to it.
Opioids in South Africa
The majority of opioids in South Africa are only available with a prescription but codeine is a type of opioid and it is available over the counter. Opioids are addictive if taken over an extended period of time - they can create a slight euphoric effect which creates more of an addiction. There are many side effects associated with the use of codeine including liver damage, kidney damage, depression, pancreatitis, muscle spasms, sensitivity to pain and respiratory issues.
Cannabis and Pain
Cannabinoids as a treatment for pain is an excellent solution. Endocannabinoids have a pain relieving effect as well as anti-inflammatory properties which means it relieves the pain and reduces the cause. Endocannibinoids reduce stress and anxiety which will help mentally to deal with the stress of chronic pain and help prevent depression. Taking these products also has no negative side effects - in fact, endocannabinoids will help prevent nausea and are extremely beneficial for the health of your gut, amongst other things.
Use Pain Relax
If you suffer from pain everyday - we’ve got something to help you. We have had incredible success with this product. We’ve taken the CBD and the THC out of the cannabinoids leaving only the powerful healing power of the endocannabinoids. Pain Relax promotes healing, reduces pain and inflammation and helps fight anxiety, stress and depression.