Understanding Pain Awareness
September is observed as the Pain Awareness Month. Pain is a feeling of discomfort felt due reasons such as injury, illness or medical conditions. Long lasting pain or chronic pain can have a huge negative impact on the life of a person and may even cause disability.
It is therefore of utmost importance for societies across the world to understand pain and issues associated with it.
Around 30% people in the world are suffering from pain in one form or the other. While some people accept pain as a part of life for others it can be more serious, intense and long lasting.
Being in constant pain and not feeling well has a negative effect on the mental health as well. Depression, anxiety, isolation, stress etc. are some side effects of pain.
During September, various organizations working in the field of pain and its management make extra efforts to reach out to people and spread awareness about pain. Since pain is an invisible ailment, it is at times misunderstood as a tantrum or attention seeking maneuver.
For people with chronic pain, life is not easy. We are pain warriors who are trying to live our lives despite being in pain all the time. What we need is to make people understand about the challenges faced by people with chronic pain. - Dr. Anubha Mahajan, Founder, Chronic Pain India
There are various types of pains that are experienced by people and vary depending on whether the pain is due to damage to tissue (Nociceptive pain) or due to damage to the nervous system itself (Neuropathic pain).
Acute pain starts suddenly and is mostly short term. It can be caused due to injury, accidents. While Chronic Pain is any pain that continues to be felt for more than 12 weeks. .
Causes and diagnoses
Ageing, medical issues, nerve damage, injury are some causes that can trigger the pain. Other underlying problems like Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia, cancer, multiple sclerosis, stomach ulcers, AIDS, gallbladder disease, Phantom Limb Pain etc. are also some common causes.
Columnist and blogger Pooja Priyamvada says, "Pain is a varied phenomenon, often it is seen only as a symptom but it is an ailment too in the longer run, hence initiatives like Pain Awareness Month become crucial to understand how pain manifests in human bodies and minds."
In most chronic pain cases it can be difficult to find the exact underlying cause. Since in our society there is a huge shortage of information and awareness about health care, people tend to hide their issues and suffer in silence.
It is advisable to seek help as that is the only way to improve the quality of life and find relief from pain.
Some pains can be treated while others may not be treatable at all. Doctors, experts, can prescribe medications, pain killers for pain relief or for treating the underlying issues while therapies, massages, yoga etc. may also provide relief to some extent but not in all cases.
There are many people who live through pain all their lives as science is yet to find a cure for them. A positive state of mind, lifestyle changes and affection and support from loved ones can help make life a little batter for them.