Pain is the most common reason in India for physician consultation. It is a major symptom in many medical conditions, and can significantly interfere with a person's quality of life and general functioning.
What is Pain?
The International Association for the Study of Pain gives definition as stated: "Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage."
Pain is such a simple word, but the problem is that what people think it means is not really what it means. Patients tend to associate what's going on in their leg or their back as pain out there in the body. But it's not. It's something we call nociception -- electrochemical signals generated in our body in response to injury that get transmitted along nerve fibers to our spinal cord and up to our brain, where they're processed and become the experience of pain.
For example, if you cut your finger, that's not pain in your finger, that's nociception.
Mainly Pain can be classified into 2 categories: Acute and Chronic pain
Acute pain is a type of pain which lasts for short period of time. It usually resolves as the pathology dissolves. It is relatively more severe than chronic pain.
Ex. Gout attack
Acute pain turns into chronic pain when we neglect the root cause of acute pain. For example, in the case of Rheumatoid Arthritis, a patient takes analgesics or immune-modulators which don’t have impact on root cause of your pain. So it gives you temporary relief from acute pain, but as the root cause is still present, pain will occur again and again. Then acute pain turns into chronic pain which makes your quality of life worse.
For many people, managing chronic pain is a constant battle. In addition to dealing with the pain, it's hard to know which treatments to rely on—how much to depend on pain medication versus other options, what about its side-effects, when to turn to surgery, etc.
Ayurveda understands chronic pain very deeply. PPSC (Prashamana Pain Speciality Clinic) makes u smile with the help of Ayurveda, a divine science of life.
Chronic pain is different from acute pain
It is important to note that chronic pain is very different from acute pain. Unlike acute pain, the level and extent of chronic pain does not correlate to the level and extent of tissue damage.
For example, severely degenerated discs may produce little pain and discs with little degeneration can produce severe pain. Therefore, giving your pain specialist a clear description about the level and nature of your pain is essential for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.
Don't forget to take good care of your emotional health
Chronic pain can interfere with all aspects of your life, including your emotional health.
Dealing with severe pain can naturally lead to depression, sleeplessness, feeling too overwhelmed to continue with treatments, etc., and it's often as important to seek appropriate treatment for these symptoms also. In addition to, depression may be a cause of your pain too!
The mind and body are much linked, and research is showing that linkage more and more.
People with chronic pain tend to have higher rates of depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances etc. these are correlations and it is often not clear which factor causes another. Chronic pain may contribute to decreased physical activity due to fear of exacerbating pain, often resulting in weight gain.
Self-esteem, often low in people with chronic pain, also shows striking improvement once pain has resolved.
There was a direct significant association between social activities and/or social support and pain. Higher levels of pain were associated with a decrease in social activities, lower levels of social support, and reduced social functioning.
Effect on cognition
Most people with chronic pain complain of cognitive impairment, such as forgetfulness, difficulty with attention, and difficulty completing tasks. Objective testing has found that people in chronic pain tend to experience impairment in attention, memory, mental flexibility, verbal ability, speed of response in a cognitive task, and speed in executing structured tasks.
As per origin, Pain can be-
Muscular pain (Myalgia)
It can be symptom of many diseases. The common causes are overuse of the muscles, trauma or strain. Other causes includes metabolic, Autoimmune, Fibromyalgia or withdrawal syndrome from certain drugs.
Neuropathic pain is caused by damage or disease affecting any part of the nervous system. Peripheral neuropathic pain is often described as "burning", "tingling", "electrical", "stabbing", or "pins and needles".
Psychogenic pain is pain caused, increased, or prolonged by mental, emotional, or behavioral factors. Headache, back pain, and stomach pain are sometimes diagnosed as psychogenic. People with long-term pain frequently display psychological disturbance.
Patients in chronic pain experience impairments in attention control, working memory, mental flexibility, problem solving, and information processing speed. Acute and chronic pain is also associated with increased depression, anxiety, fear, and anger.
Pain Threshold and Tolerance
The Pain threshold is the level at which pain begins to be felt. Pain tolerance is the maximum level of pain that a person is able to tolerate. There are some Ayurveda formulations which can be used to increase pain threshold and tolerance.
Need of Ayurveda Pain Specialist
Pain should not be taken easily whether it is severe or mild. To reach the root cause of pain and treat it naturally without any side-effects, there is a need of Ayurveda Pain Specialist. We make sure that recurrence of disease doesn’t develop in the future.
A common myth is that you have to live with it. We need to first find out the root cause for pain, and then it can be corrected with Ayurveda treatment, so it's not just a matter of telling someone you have to live with it. But it's up to us physicians to show people how to best manage that pain, whether through medication, Panchkarma Procedures or mind/body approaches -- all of these show significant benefit in reducing patients' pain and helping them improve quality of life and physical functioning.
Ayurveda View about Pain
Ayurveda defines pain very clearly. Pain can never exist in the body without vitiation of ‘Vayu’. If ‘Vayu’ is provoked in the body due to any reason, it causes pain and discomfort.
Acharya Sushruta mentioned in his book ‘Sushruta Samhita’ (written about 5000 years ago) about cause of pain.
It means pain can’t be developed without ‘Vayu’.
What is ‘Vayu’?
‘Vayu’ is the energy which controls all functions of the body organs. It is called ‘The Lord’ in Ayurveda. It controls all physical and mental functions as God serves the world. When we blink our eyes or make knee movement, all of these are due to ‘Vayu’.
What does aggravate the ‘Vayu’?
As Age increases, state of ‘Vayu’ in the body increases. It’s natural. But today our lifestyle makes our body more prone to ‘Vayu’ disorders at early age. Overuse of Spicy foods and lack of Ghee / Oil in our diet are making us old very early.
Function of Normal (Prakruta) ‘Vayu’ in the Body:
It is responsible for any kind of movement whether it is cellular level, tissue level or organ level. It controls functions of nervous tissues or nerve conduction which is mainly responsible for pain occurrence.
Function of Aggravated (Prakupita) ‘Vayu’ in the Body:
When ‘Vayu’ is aggravated, it causes degeneration in the body. It causes destruction of various tissue and joints. It is responsible for degeneration of joint cartilage.
Role of ‘Vayu’ in joint pain:
Vayu is aggravated by 3 reasons:
- When you consume ‘Vata’ aggravating diet or due to other ‘Vata’ aggravating factors:
- Due to destruction of various tissue (Dhatu Kshaya):
- Due to obstruction in the free flow of ‘Vayu’ (Avarana):
It causes aggravation of ‘Vayu’ in our body which creates disturbance in normal nerve conduction and results in pain.
As Age increases, Various Dhatus (tissue) gets destruction naturally. Ex. When Knee joint cartilage degenerates with age, aggravated ‘Vayu’ takes place there and causes more and more degeneration which causes osteoarthritis.
When ‘Vayu’ is obstructed by Other Vitiated Dosha or Dhatu, It aggravates. Ex. In Obese person, Vayu is obstructed by Extra Fat and causes degenerative changes in Knee at early age.