Pain is a combination of nervous stimulationand emotional feeling. The body over periods of time has gained adaptiveadvantages of pain, in particular, the body being able to send signals to thebrain indicating that there indeed is an issue that needs to be handled insideof the body or the reaction to an outside simulation of pain. The body itself endurestwo types of pain: nociceptive and neuropathic. Pain is often classified by theduration of pain under the categories of acute or chronic pain.
People feelpain in different thresholds and have different tolerances of pain. Themanagement of pain is becoming more non-traditional as people are finding morerelief in the non-traditional methods rather that the traditional pillcocktails and injections. In a wide variety of states people are leaningtowards the on-traditional use of medicinal marijuana for pain relief.
Themarijuana acts as a sedative to bring the people suffering some sort of controland relief when it comes to long-term pain management. How Does It Feel? : Pain Paper Perplex Pain has evolved inmany ways one being the ability to respond to pain in a way that is safe forsurvival. Pain is a trait by natural selection.
Little is known whether it wasbecause of random variation, selected for survival, or a byproduct of anothertrait. However, it is known that those who don’t feel pain have a shorter lifeexpectancy. They fail to realize they are experiencing discomfort inside thebody. This discomfort limits the blood supply to that area thus leading todeath by tissue damage or infection. The body has evolved in such a way thatwhen it experiences abnormalities inside the body, it comes up with a defensemechanism. For instance, when there are toxins in the stomach that areunfamiliar to the body it will cause one to vomit.
The false alarm set off inthe body is at the price of a few calories but failure for the alarm to go offin the presence of a real threat can result in death. Reports by Acerbi andParisi (n.d.) suggest:inputs from inside the body, unlike inputs from theexternal environment, are not automatic consequences of the independentphysical structure of the internal environment but they must coevolve togetherwith the body. The body itself must “learn” to send signals to the nervoussystem and must decide which specific signals to send and in correspondencewith which specific states of the body. (p. 5-6).
Thebody itself had to learn how to send signals from the external stimulus throughthe nervous system. Millennia’s before us the people could not differentiatebetween when it was time to rest the body to heal or when it was time to movethe body for food because they could not feel pain. According to Acerbi andParisi (n.d.
), after 200 generations the body was able to detect pain fromexternal stimuli and transmit a signal through the nervous system to develop areaction. (p. 6). Pain is a stimulus picked up by receptorsand carried on sensory tracts to the brain which establishes the feeling ofpain. The receptors which respond to painful mechanical, chemical, and thermalstimuli are called, nociceptors. There are a range or nociceptors that are invarious locations in the body that respond to different stimuli.
For example,there are skin nociceptors can be broken down into four categories. Firstly,specific nociceptors which respond to intense mechanical stimulation such aspinching or cutting. Secondly, there are thermal nociceptors which respond tothe stimuli mentioned before as well as temperatures in the range of 42°C and above 50°C.
Thirdly, in the skin is chemical nociceptors that respond only tochemical stimulation such as, acids from inside and outside of the body.Lastly, there are polymodal nociceptors which responds to high levels of themechanical, thermal, and chemical stimulation like the previously mentionedtypes. Additionally, there are joint nociceptors which contain a high thresholdof other nociceptors, but respond to hitting the joint or painful rotationagainst the tissue. Likewise, there are visceral nociceptors located in thevisceral organs like the urinary tract, the ischemia, and the stomach, thatresponds to pathological changes in the body. The last type of nociceptor iscalled the silent nociceptor because these receptors are usually unresponsiveuntil tissue damage and inflammation has occurred.
When the depolarization isstrong enough and action potentials are developed they are conducted by theaxon to the spinal cord and carried to the brain on special ascending spinalpathways. The anterolateral system carries sensoryinformation to the brain from the receptors of the skin and it includes thespinothalamic, spinoreticular, and spinomesencephalic tracts, which are allassociated with nociceptors. The spinothalamic tract projects to the thalamus,and the axons from the thalamus connect to the somatic sensory cortex wheresensations are perceived, therefore conveying information we are consciouslyaware of.
The spinoreticular tracts project to the reticular formation and thespinomesencephalic tracts project to the midbrain, therefore, conveying sensoryinformation we are not consciously aware of. The spinothalamic tracts areformed by three neurons. The primary neurons, located in the dorsal rootganglia enter the spinal cord and synapse with the interneurons. Theinterneurons, (which are not named in the sequence) synapse with the secondaryneurons, which decussates the spinal cord and travels to the thalamus. In thethalamus, the secondary neuron synapses with the tertiary neuron, and thenconnects with the somatic sensory cortex. The input from the anterolateralsystem originates on one side but is perceived on the other side due todecussation in the spinal cord.
Pain is an experience different for all.Pain comes under many classifications and can be tolerated better by some. Painis classified by duration, cause, mechanism, and others that fall into theirown category.
Pain by duration is referred to as acute or chronic pain. Acute painlasting from about three to six months and is associated with trauma, such as abroken leg or appendicitis. Chronic pain is pain lasting longer than suggestedhealing time.
It is basically sending transmissions of a pain that issupposedly in the tissue but is not there. Pain by cause is said to becancerous and noncancerous. Cancerous pain is caused by cancer whilenoncancerous is caused by many things such as, trauma, childbirth, anddegenerative disease. Both are usually chronic pain but can be acute. Lastly,pain classified by mechanism is called nociceptive, neuropathic, orneuroplastic. Nociceptive pain is tissuedamaging pain, while neuropathic is nerve-damaging pain, and neuroplastic isneuro-processing pain. Pain that falls into their own category is visceral pain(pain from internal organs), referred pain (pain that is not felt directly atthe source of pain), and phantom pain. “Phantom limb phenomenon was first described by aFrench military surgeon Ambroise Pare.
1 The phantom phenomenon consists ofthree distinct elements: Phantom limb pain (PLP): Painful sensations that arebeing referred to the amputated limb Phantom limbsensation (PLS): Sensations other than pain that are being referred to theamputated limb Stump pain(SP): Pain localized to the amputated stump.” (Ahmed, Bhatnagar, Mishra,Khurana, Joshi, Ahmad, 2017. P. 24)Thispain is said to be partly psychological as there isn’t a limb to feel pain andcan be connected to the pain that was once there or the desire to have what wasonce there.
These episodes involve various components such as the nervoussystem, the brain, and the spinal cord and can vary in duration, intensity,frequency, and location. The phantom pain can exist in an area as small asgetting a tooth pulled to having a leg or arm amputated. Pain can be managed in many ways but istraditionally managed with pills and injections. The way how pain will betreated will be based on your pain history, intensity duration, aggravating andrelieving conditions, and the structures that cause the pain. The point of painmanagement is to identify the source of pain and give optimally effectivetreatment.
The most easily accessible form of fast relief is topicalanalgesics, which are prescribed in the form of a cream or patch over thecounter. These medications break the pain cycle by tricking the sensory nervesby giving them another sensation to focus on, usually cold or tingling. Most commonly prescribed is opioids, whichneed a doctor’s prescription because they contain morphine and codeine and canbe life-threatening if used incorrectly. Similarly, some physicians will givetheir patients corticosteroids such as prednisone and cortisone in the form ofan injection which will reduce the swelling, thus relieving the pain. For more serious cases, anesthetics are alsoused in the form of an injection near the nerve to block the transmission of theaction potential.
This is referred to as local anesthesia which will give lossof sensation in that part of the body, while general anesthesia will give lossof consciousness due to action on the reticular formation. Becoming more prevalent in society todayare non-traditional methods of pain management called complementary andalternative medicine (CAM). Little isknown as to why people are leaning toward this form of relief, whether it beover the fear of drug dependence or unsuccessful treatment from mainstreamdrugs, but it has become highly popular today. There are many forms of CAM thatpeople turn to for relief.
A prominent type of alleviation is mind – bodytherapy which is meant to help the mind’s capability to influence the body to alleviatethe symptoms in the form of meditation or hypnosis. This is commonly used torelived chronic pain. In the like manner, acupuncture is used to bring relieffrom things along the lines of carpal tunnel, headaches, menstrual cramps,osteoarthritis, and lower back pain. This ancient Chinese remedy is performedby sticking needles in the body’s fourteen energy channels to fight againstillnesses and relieve pain by rebalancing the imbalanced energy channels. Chiropractictreatment and massage therapy are becoming increasingly used to manage thingslike back pain, neck pain, and even headaches. These practices can increaseblood flow to the area and relieve stress and tension building up in the area.
Furthermore, not only are people beginning to take the dietary approach to getsome sort of relief from pain, they go as far as using dietary supplements. Thegenerally crude veggie lover eating regimen was appeared to give an expansionin weight reduction and physical movement and convey alleviation to individualssuffering from fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. Likewise, the nutritionalsupplements have shown early benefits, but further research is needed. Medicinal marijuana has become increasinglypopular and legalized in some states such as Montana, North Dakota, Arizona,and Ohio. These places have made medical marijuana the only way to carrymarijuana legally. The patients that need it undergo strict policies such asbeing referred by a doctor after many failed attempts of traditional methods ofpain relief. To purchase the marijuana, you must buy it from a registereddispensary and you must have a certificate. The medicinal marijuana is sold indispensaries so that doctors, scientist and law makers can keep track of thedosage, usage, and relief of every person.
You must be registered with thedispensary and carry valid identification to make your purchases. Althoughmedical marijuana is legal in some states, other states have made recreationalmarijuana legal. This form of sale is called adult use and is legal in placeslike California, Oregon, Colorado, and Alaska. The use of recreationalmarijuana is almost the same as medicinal marijuana. You must purchase from adispensary at the age of twenty-one and older with valid identification only.
Majority of recreational dispensaries have a menu for buyers to access insidean out of the store. Even less than recreational use some states have limitedlaws that only allow the use and carrying of hemp oil with specific levels oftetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol. The use of medicinal marijuana has become asuccessful form of pain relief for some people. For Mr.
Z it was his only formof relief for his lower back pain that he suffered with for years. Mr. Z is a60-year-old who had a fall at work years ago and had to receive an L2-3laminectomy. A laminectomy is a procedure that removes part of the vertebralbone called the lamina. He had thisprocedure done in 1996. From the procedure, Mr. Z had received epiduralinjections, lidocaine, and even took part in a spinal cord stimulator trial.Mr.
Z had been diagnosed with failed back following his laminectomy and he wason a pill regimen that included taking 10mg of oxycodone and 600mg of ibuprofenevery six hours to get pain relief. In the words of Dr. Hill (2015):In an effort to obtain better control of his chronic pain, he beganusing medical marijuana after receiving a certification from a local specialtymedical marijuana clinic. He thought that medical marijuana improved his paincontrol and approached his primary care physician about continued use ofmedical marijuana. (p. 2475).
Mr. Z’s use ofmedicinal marijuana acts as a sedative and aids Mr. Z in getting a better sleepat night and even pain relief the following day. Pain is universal, everyone isaffected by it. Everyone may not endure the same pain, but the feeling canalways be empathized.
The adaptive advantages of pain are essential to oursurvival. Without the body adapting to the stimulus we would not be able to knowthat there is an issue. The reaction to the external stimulus creates athreshold to react to pain and the internal reactions help us to fix and fightoff any problems. The management of pain which is today becoming morenontraditional than traditional has different results for everyone. Likewise,the use of medical marijuana is becoming increasingly popular.
In my ownopinion, I prefer the nontraditional methods over the traditional methods. Ibelieve that the use of medical marijuana serves a different purpose for everyuser and should be used as a form of treatment.