Chronic Pain Validated

Chronic Pain Validated
Justin J Wee for The New York Times. Prop stylist: Caroline Dorn.

This article by the New York Times discusses scientific advancements helping us understand the origin of chronic pain. This is important because chronic pain, “pain lasting beyond three to six months that has no apparent cause or has become independent of the injury or illness that caused it,” affects 1 in 5 people, making it one of the world’s most costly health conditions, according to the New York Times. Despite affecting so many people, chronic pain is often not taken seriously by doctors, causing a frustrating cycle of pain with no treatment. Fortunately, the sciences have made advancements in the last few decades in understanding the relationship between glia, “a set of nervous system cells once thought to be mere supports for neurons,” and chronic pain. 

As the NY Times explains, glial cells do not simply support neuronal activity like pain signals, they actually often direct those signals. “Pain from one or even multiple injuries, as in a car wreck, ordinarily lasts days or weeks and then tapers off to nothing. But sometimes the glia’s regulatory system continues the pain signals after the tissue heals. These may even spread to other areas, causing yet more pain.” While this scientific advancement has not yet brought us to figuring out treatment plans, knowing some of the cause of chronic pain can validate all of those who suffer with it, and provide some hope that treatments are the next step. 

Article: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/09/well/mind/glial-cells-chronic-pain-treatment.html

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The ideas expressed here are solely the opinions of the author and are not researched or verified by AGEIST LLC, or anyone associated with AGEIST LLC. This material should not be construed as medical advice or recommendation, it is for informational use only. We encourage all readers to discuss with your qualified practitioners the relevance of the application of any of these ideas to your life. The recommendations contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or stopping any treatment that has been prescribed for you by your physician or other qualified health provider. Please call your doctor or 911 immediately if you think you may have a medical or psychiatric emergency.

Taylor Marks is a certified holistic health coach and professionally trained chef from The Institute of Culinary Education. Her passions include the latest research in health science, culinary arts, holistic wellness, and guiding others towards feeling their best.