"Chronic pain is rarely accompanied by sympathetic
nervous system arousal. Lack of objective signs may prompt the
inexperienced clinician to say that the patient does not look
like he or she is in pain"
American Pain Society 1999 P.4
Pain through the eyes of observers throughout time:
"Pain upsets and destroys the nature of the person
who feels it"
"Perhaps few persons who are not physicians realize
the influence of which long-continued and unendurable pain have
upon both body and mind"
Weir Mitchell 1864
"Pain is an experience subject to modification by
many factors. Wounds received during strenuous physical exercise,
during the excitement of games, often go unnoticed. The same
is true of wounds received during fighting, during anger. Strong
emotion can block pain".
Lt Col. H Beecher 1946
"Pain is a consummate mind-body event where sensation
and emotion become inextricably intertwined; it is impossible
to say where the realm of physical pain ends and psychic suffering
Fishman, S MD The War on Pain Harper Collins
2000 p. 2
"There is no single accepted pain experience--no one
feels it the same".
Fishman p. 7
"Unrelenting pain can alter the way neurons handle
information,it can make sensation more intense, twist its character,
create additional sensations like stabbing pain, or set off
other neurological events common with stress"....
"Lasting pain can produce a cycle of chemical and
electrical action and reaction that becomes an automatic feedback
loop--a chronic self-perpetuation hurting that persists long
after the original trauma has healed."
"Pain can reconfigure the architecture of the nervous
system it invades. It can be stamped so deeply as to make a
p. 85-6 Fishman
"The mind-body connection can either magnify or demagnify
pain or push it from the center of your consciousness...."
We have the ability to transform pain into either less pain
or more pain"..."Too much sensation can magnify pain".
Fishman S MD p.10
Chronic pain linked to spinal cord protein
Wind blowing on skin or touch of a shirt is extremely
Discovery will help sufferers rebuffed for lack of
ELAINE CAREY HEALTH REPORTER
Toronto Star Dec 15, 2005.
Canadian scientists have discovered a protein that plays a
key role in causing debilitating, chronic pain that until now
has never been understood. "Some people can't wear shirts or
they're not able to go out because the touch of a breeze gives
them lightning-like pain," said Dr. Michael Salter, who heads
the University of Toronto Centre for the Study of Pain. "The
worst part is that there's often no physical sign that something's
wrong. They're suffering intensely, they get no relief from
medications and their family and friends don't understand."
The discovery paves the way for developing new ways of detecting
and treating the chronic pain that affects thousands of Canadians,
says a study published yesterday in the scientific journal Nature.
Chronic or neuropathic pain is caused by nerve damage brought
on by an injury or illnesses such as cancer, HIV-AIDS or diabetes,
which causes changes in spinal cord cells called microglia.
"Once damaged, the scientists discovered that
microglia release a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic
factor which causes spinal neurons to send an abnormal signal
to the pain-processing networks in the brain. Microglia normally
act to suppress pain signals to the brain and spinal cord but
the protein converts it into a mechanism that amplifies them,"
said Salter, co-principal investigator with Dr. Yves De Koninck
of Laval University and a senior scientist at Sick Kids Hospital.
"One of the messages from this paper ... is that
after these kinds of injuries to nerves in your arm or leg or
hand, you can have changes in your spinal cord that can perpetuate
pain and actually intensify it long after the injury has healed,"
"This is an important discovery for the millions of Canadians
who suffer from debilitating chronic pain that cannot currently
be treated," said Michael Wilson, chair of NeuroScience Canada,
one of the funders of the research through the Brain Repair
'If pain was spelled flu, it would already be considered an
epidemic in this country' Barry Ulmer, Chronic Pain Association
The discovery "represents an important shift that could soon
provide patients with effective treatments and allow them to
be active again in our society," Wilson said. Chronic pain is
"a touchy subject" because there are no obvious physical symptoms
and sufferers are often told they are making it up or faking
it, Salter said. Even strong painkillers don't suppress the
pain because they work on only some of the large pain-processing
networks but not all of them, he said. "Typically people with
neuropathic pain get very little pain relief from traditional
painkillers like morphine or Aspirin or acetaminophen," he said.
For some people the pain is so acute that even common events
like wind blowing on the skin or the touch of a shirt is extremely
painful. When neuropathic pain attacks children with cancer
who are undergoing chemotherapy, the pain is so excruciating
the treatment has to be stopped.
The discovery of how microglia communicate with nerve cells
in the pain- processing networks should help in developing drugs
to treat it, Salter said. And it could lead to a diagnostic
test to identify it. "You could go and have a test and show
your physician: `Look, there really is something wrong with
me,'" he said. That is a bigger issue in the United States where
many chronic pain sufferers can't get any health care benefits.
Barry Ulmer, executive director of the Chronic Pain Association
of Canada, said the findings were encouraging but were still
only at the laboratory stage and "it's got a long way to go.
"If pain was spelled flu, it would already be considered an
epidemic in this country," said Ulmer, whose wife suffers from
chronic pain. "Anything that comes forward that takes away from
the subjective nature of pain is helpful," he said. "Most people
are stigmatized because of it. Anything positive that comes
along has to be a bonus."
If you change the way you look at something Something you
look at will change.
SOURCE: Toronto Star 2005. Thanks
If you have any pain related items which
we could include in this page, please E-MAIL