Chronic Pain Relief

Written by Beth Hrusch
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The study of chronic pain relief has yielded some interesting finds about the nature of chronic pain and why it occurs. Chronic pain is defined as a disorder of the central nervous system, which persists for months or years, and results in pain that cannot be treated with standard medications. Chronic pain may even lead to related disorders, the most common of which is called allodynia, in which people start to feel pain in areas that are not normally painful.

Research into Chronic Pain Relief

Most studies of chronic pain have focused on the signals sent to and from the brain through the spinal cord. It is believed that a certain region of the brain is responsible for the body's response to pain stimuli, and that this region contains enzymes that receive and return the feeling of chronic pain. When these enzymes are disabled, chronic pain is no longer felt. Acute pain is not affected by this experiment, as the transmission processes for acute pain are different.

What these studies have shown is that it may be possible to design drugs that inhibit the enzymes that increase the body's sensitivity to long-term pain. In the mean time, many people turn to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or acetaminophen for chronic pain relief. Natural remedies also work for many people. Stress-relieving exercises, water therapy, and herbal formulas are a few drug alternatives that have proven to alleviate chronic pain.

Many factors have an effect on chronic pain. The level of stress in one's life plays a role, as does one's lifestyle. Those who smoke and are overweight are far more likely to suffer from chronic pain than those who do not. Nutritional imbalances can lead to long-term pain. One's choice in chronic pain relief may depend upon all of these factors, and addressing these issues may well be the first step to becoming pain-free.


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