Pain is the leading reason why people go to doctors' offices. Whether it is back pain signaling a spinal problem or kidney stone or perhaps chest pain that is signaling heart disease, pain is how our body communicates with us. Pains can either be experienced in the short-term or they can turn into chronic problems that take control of your life if you do not address them correctly. It has been documented that about one-third of all pains may turn into chronic problems. Believe me, there are millions of people who will become disabled by chronic pain. It is also one of the major reasons why we miss work. Chronic pain is different from acute pain in terms of physiology. When there is acute pain, nerve fibers send a painful signal to the brain and alert you to where there is an injury on or within your body. On the other hand, after the initial injury, our body records the type, location and severity of acute pain. With this memory, even if there is no injury at the moment, we may still feel the pain at the same location with almost the same severity; this is called chronic pain. Chronic pain occurs when your nerve fibers continue to carry pain signals for months or even years after the initial onset. Moreover, when the pain becomes chronic, it can even be more severe because the pain is signaled through nerve fibers that have experienced the pain before. You then experience the "wind up phenomenon," where the intensity of the signal of chronic pain increases as your brain becomes more sensitive to the message. This type of pain can be due to many reasons including arthritis, headaches or even your stomach. Your initial target should be defining the source and your ultimate goal should be to understand the cause of the chronic pain so that we can take action against it.
If pain comes from your musculoskeletal system, it is called somatic pain. With this type, signals are carried to the brain with special nerve fibers. Fibromyalgia is a fairly common condition that fits into this category. Since somatic pain fibers are unique and this type of pain is more common, your body can quickly analyze its origins so that action can be taken more quickly. Somatic chronic pain is a memorized condition, so it mostly will originate from several locations. As an example, think of two light bulbs in location A and location B, and a LED light in between. Let the LED be your nerve fiber, A the location of an injury and B be your brain where the signal is processed. With somatic chronic pain, even when the light is turned off in location A, the LED will remain active and continue to "light" location B. This will cause huge discomfort and greatly reduce someone's quality of life since the pain is there even though there is no source for it at that particular moment.
In order to understand your pain, first take out your notepad and your pen. Some of you may know the 21-, 42- and 63-day rules in your life, that is, the time needed for habitual transformation. In order to release the memorized pain codes from your brain, take a 21-day challenge and write down your pain and its discomfort every day. If you start keeping a pain journal, you will allow yourself to live in that pain and understand its particulars. Once you are done keeping your journal, take the next step and begin rejuvenating your body's sensors by taking a hot bath every night for 15 days. The bath should not be just water; you should add two cups of either Epsom salt and/or five drops of black pepper seed oil into the tub. After preparing your tub, just lie in it for 15 minutes. After the first week, you will feel the difference!
The next step is to introduce natural alternatives into your life. If the chronic pain is due to your back or neck, incorporate more vitamin B12 and capsaicin, a chemical found in peppers, into your dietary routine. Pain originating from your back or neck is mostly due to a problem in your spinal cord where nerve fibers experience some kind problem. The fibers could potentially be stuck between a disk and the bone, or the protective sheath of the nerve fiber may be damaged. In this condition, vitamin B12 is crucial to easing your back pain as it thickens the protective sheath around your nerves. Capsaicin is very important as well. Capsaicin is the substance that gives peppers their hot taste and it blocks the pain signals that are being sent. It is highly allergenic, however, so it may cause a burning sensation.
Of course, pain is not just only limited to your back or neck, but it can also be caused by many different reasons. Chronic joint pain is also a major complaint from patients, one that increases with age. As we age or when we harm our joints during work or sports, the smooth cartilage-covered surfaces begin breaking up due to micro traumas that occur in our daily life. As a result, the bone comes into contact with the joint and causes friction and pain. Although it sounds bad enough, there are some compounds that can help ease join pain. One, boswellia extract, which is also named and known as Indian frankincense, is a herbal extract that is used to help reduce cartilage damage. Be sure to use it with a concentration of at least 40 percent. Additionally, powdered ginger is the most powerful anti-inflammatory substance. Especially, in the condition of joint pain, ginger can be used to reduce the inflammation in your joints. Try to use up to 4 grams every day to ease the inflammation!