At first, babies just scream and yell. They are attention seekers and want us to come tend to their needs. As they grow bigger and get a sense of how they can interact with the world, they come to understand some sensations are pleasurable (hence the chuckles and gurgles) and some are painful (hence more screaming and yelling). As parents, it’s our job to encourage the happy experiences not involving loud protests and to make the pain go away. If we fail at the latter, we will have children, teens and adults that flinch at every touch and run to the nearest emergency room whenever there’s even a hint of discomfort. No matter what you may think of the primitive days before television, people were harder and prepared to work through pain. Today, everyone is bombarded with ads for painkillers and reaches for the pill bottle whenever pain is threatened.
So what exactly is pain? This is one of those survival characteristics hard-wired into our bodies by our genes. In fact, when you think about it, there’s a kind of magic at work. How many times have you been close to burning your hand, reaching for something too hot, only to find your hand moving out of range before you were aware of any risk? This is the power of the nervous system. It transmits messages faster than thought and, before anything filters through to our consciousness, the body has instinctively moved itself. These nerves know exactly where the danger is and can tell you exactly where you have been injured. Everyone would be delighted except for one small problem. It does not come with an off-switch. So rather like the burglar alarm that rings through the night on the foreclosed property next to yours, the pain messages keep on coming even though you have done all you can to treat the cause.
Doctors divide pain into two basic types based on time. The first is acute where you will make a complete recovery. This is like an accidental injury where you cut yourself or break a bone. After treatment, healing will begin. The second is chronic where the pain will be long-lasting. The reason for making this distinction is because of the psychology involved. When you know you will recover, it’s reasonably easy to stay positive and work through the physical therapy and rehabilitation exercises until you are recovered. But, when you know the pain is not going away, this is immediately depressing. Indeed, many doctors treat people with antidepressants when the damage to the body is not going to heal. This reflects the reality that unless the mind is engaged and positive, it will amplify every twinge and make the entire pain experience worse. If people are to avoid becoming permanent invalids, they must learn how to live with the pain. Only then can they have a reasonable quality of life. There will be a place for Ultram use whether the pain is acute or chronic. This is one of the world’s most reliable painkillers. But when it comes to the treatment of chronic pain, you do not want to be dependent on Ultram to get through every day remaining in your life. You need a different approach.