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Pain


Description

Pain is felt when sensory neurons throughout the body react to pressure, mechanical trauma, heat, cold, and other stimuli. The sensory neurons also respond to prostaglandins, histamine, and other chemicals released by injured or inflamed body tissue. Whether sensory neurons are stimulated depends on how powerful, prolonged, and widespread the heat, pressure, or other stimuli are. When sensory neurons are stimulated, the nerves "fire," sending off messages that travel along the nervous system to the brain.

Acute pain is the pain that tells you something is harming, or about to harm, your body. Chronic pain may be a dull ache that never goes away. Often the source of chronic pain is unknown.

Aspirin is the most well-known remedy for pain. Unfortunately aspirin has a host of side effects, including heartburn, nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, loss of hearing, hives and itching. Other side effects include vomiting blood, blood in the urine or stool, drowsiness, confusion, loss of vision and jaundice. Aspirin should not be taken by those with a bleeding disorder, ulcers, gout, asthma, liver or kidney disease, women who are pregnant or breast feeding, or anyone soon to undergo surgery. Neither should you take aspirin if you are taking blood-thinning medications for prevention or treatment of stroke, heart attacks, atrial fibrillation or blood clots. And if you are on long-term aspirin therapy, you must have your blood tested regularly by a physician to make sure the medicine is not harming your liver.

Acetaminophen is an effective treatment for moderate pain and fever, but it does not act against inflammation, swelling, or redness. Potential side effects include trembling, light-headedness, fatigue, itching, fever, sore throat, unexplained bruises or bleeding, blood in the urine, and pains in the side or lower back. Long-term use may cause anemia, along with liver and kidney damage. Acetaminophen causes massive free radical damage to the liver that can be ameliorated with nutrients like N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC).

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs ( NSAIDs) are used for pain, stiffness, and swelling of the joints, and for painful menstrual periods. Potential side effects include stomach pains, gastritis, peptic ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, headaches, nausea, dizziness, depression, drowsiness, ringing in the ears, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, convulsions, blood in the urine and stool, chest tightness, rapid heartbeat, fainting, and chills. Ironically, these medicines can actually cause pain, the very thing they are taken to eliminate. Long-term use can damage the eyes and ears, and cause weight gain.

Causes

Pain is felt when sensory neurons throughout the body react to pressure, mechanical trauma, heat, cold, and other stimuli. The sensory neurons also respond to prostaglandins, histamine, and other chemicals released by injured or inflamed body tissue. Whether sensory neurons are stimulated depends on how powerful, prolonged, and widespread the heat, pressure, or other stimuli are. When sensory neurons are stimulated, the nerves "fire," sending off messages that travel along the nervous system to the brain.

 

 

 

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