At TWINE Life we are passionate about education and awareness with regards to all things relating to our physical, emotional and relational wellbeing. During the month of September, in observance of Pain Awareness Month, we are highlighting the latest news and scientific data to help us understand the underlying causes of pain and what treatments and therapies are on the horizon for helping alleviate suffering.
What is pain?
Pain starts in receptor nerve cells found beneath the skin and in organs throughout the body. When you are sick, injured, or otherwise “out of balance,” these receptor cells send messages along nerve pathways to the spinal cord, which then carries the messages to the brain. Traditional pain medications work to reduce or block these messages before they reach the brain. Other alternative therapies such as massage, chiropractic therapies, meditation, herbal therapies and other all natural approaches including phytocannabinoid rich hemp extracts (CBD) have the potential to alleviate pain in some cases.
Pain can be anything from slightly bothersome, such as a mild headache, to something excruciating and emergent, like the chest pain that can accompany a heart attack or pain of kidney stones. Pain can be acute, meaning new, subacute, lasting for a few weeks or months and chronic, when it lasts for more than 3 months.
Chronic pain is one of the most expensive health problems in the U.S. Increased medical expenses, lost income, lost productivity, compensation payments, and legal charges are some of the economic consequences of chronic pain.
What You Need to Know
- Nearly 100 million Americans experience chronic pain—more than those who have diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined.
- Pain is a warning sign that indicates a problem that needs attention.
- Pain starts in receptor nerve cells located beneath the skin and in organs throughout the body.
- Living with pain can be debilitating and adversely affect everyday life.
- Chronic pain is one of the most expensive health problems in the U.S. Increased medical expenses, lost income, lost productivity, compensation payments, and legal charges are some of the economic consequences of chronic pain.
- Low back pain is one of the most significant health problems. Back pain is a common cause of limited activity in adults.
- Cancer pain affects most people with advanced cancer.
- Arthritis pain affects more than 50 million Americans each year.
- Headaches affect millions of U.S. adults. Some of the most common types of chronic headaches are migraines, cluster headaches, and tension headaches.
- Countless other pain disorders such as the neuralgias and neuropathies that affect nerves throughout the body, pain due to damage to the central nervous system) the brain and spinal cord), as well as pain where no physical cause can be found--psychogenic pain--increase the total number of reported cases.
COVID-19 Pandemic’s impact on pain
Patients say the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted their ability to manage their pain symptoms and health overall in some way. With stay-at-home orders and limited options for accessing usual treatments and physical activity routines, respondents say their pain levels have increased.
- 54% report they are not as physically active due to COVID-19 restrictions.
- 59% report they cancelled because they were concerned about getting the virus
- 31% have had a virtual visit with their doctor to manage their pain.