“Where does it hurt?” This is often the first question caregivers ask. (A caregiver may be a doctor or nurse, a friend or mommy!) We ask because we care; people often – though not always – tell us where it hurts because they are searching for a solution to their pain.
Why we hurt
Pain is a messenger system designed to tell us that something is wrong. As my grandfather used to say, “If your hand hurts, take it off the hot stove!” Pain is often designed to trigger a “withdrawal” response. We withdraw from pain because the pain tells us that we are being injured. This interpretation of pain may seem overly simplistic, especially in our world, where it is not always easy to take your hand off the hot stove, so to speak.
There are a number of different pain sensations. The feeling may seem sharp (superficial pain receptors) or dull (deeper pain receptors). It may seem to throb with your heartbeat or be constant. It may be fixed in one location or migratory – moving around from place to place. The main distinction of pain basically boils down to acute pain versus chronic pain.
Acute pain begins to go away as soon as you remove the trigger. Take your hand off the hot stove, repair the broken tooth or drink pure water to rehydrate the dehydrated brain and acute pain goes away. The message of pain has been received, interpreted and the corrective action taken.
Chronic pain persists after the cause has been removed or because the cause is itself a chronic condition. It is often related to inflammation – inflammation in the tissues of your body, or inflammation in the nervous system, or both. We used to have a saying to help us define inflammation: rubor, tumor, calor and dolor. These four Latin words mean redness, swelling, heat and pain.
Your brain eventually interprets the signals in a way that motivates you to confront the cause of pain. Interestingly, the brain doesn’t feel pain; it merely interprets the nerve and chemical signals as painful.
Understanding the signals
It is important for us to understand why we hurt so that we can take the proper action. The four basic pain triggers are:
1. Trauma or injury
2. Toxins or poisons
3. Emotional distress
As mentioned above, an example of a deficiency that causes pain may be a water deficiency (dehydration) causing a headache. Another extremely common form of painful dehydration is osteoarthritis (OA). In OA the soft tissue of the joint capsule loses water and withers. This may be due to a number of causes, including simply not drinking enough water. More often, joint dehydration associated with OA occurs because there are not enough minerals to hold the water in its proper place and quantity. This is why TriVita’s OptimaFlex® contains both pain/inflammation reducing ingredients and minerals associated with healthy, moist joints.
An example of toxins creating pain may be the way toxins from inside your intestines trigger rheumatoid arthritis and many other “autoimmune” disorders. Typically, a toxin from inside your system escapes into the bloodstream and relocates to the soft tissue of your organs or around your joints. Your immune system attacks both the toxins and the soft tissues. In an attempt to remove the toxin or poison, your system may destroy the tissue in which the toxin resides.
Pain caused by toxins frequently responds to Nopalea™, as the Betalains in Nopalea are both anti-inflammatory and anti-toxin. These two actions help your immune system work smarter, not harder and, ultimately, help you do what you do best: heal. This often results in reduced levels of chronic pain.
The lesson of pain
Dedicated physicians spend decades learning the antecedents, triggers and inflammatory pathways associated with acute and chronic pain. There is simply no way to address all of the particulars of pain in our Wellness Reports; however it is my sincere wish that this report gives you a little more insight into the possible causes – and solutions – for acute and chronic pain.
Take Control of Your Health Practice deep breathing 20 minutes or more daily, Drink pure water – ½ ounce per pound of body weight, Sleep peacefully to reduce pain signals and heal, Eat nutritiously, including appropriate supplements, Exercise daily according to your abilities – get professional help with an exercise program tailored to your needs and abilitiesSelect a support team.