7 bizarre facts about pain - Part I: Does pain really shrink your brain?

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Virtually everyone feels pain from time to time. But why do some people have a high pain threshold while others wince at the slightest touch? Why do you get regular headaches while your sibling or spouse rarely has one?

We know that pain is an unpleasant sensation but it is normal and sometimes necessary – it’s the way your body warns you about potentially harmful behavior that can cause damage to tissue (cuts, bruises, stings) or to other organs and body parts (ankle sprains, broken thumbs, etc.). However, it is also an emotional experience whose purpose is to allow the body to react and prevent further tissue or organ damage.

Introduction: pain vs chronic pain

When you hit your thigh on the corner of your dining table or hit your head on a cabinet door – you know exactly why you are aching. Normally, when you stop the activity that causes pain, or once the injury heals, it stops hurting.

Chronic pain is different. Your body keeps hurting weeks, months, or even years after the injury. Chronic pain may and often does have real effects on your day-to-day life and your mental health.

It is said that about 75 million Americans endure chronic or recurrent pain, and that migraines plague 25 million of us. It is estimated that one in six U.S. residents suffers from arthritis.

Although pain has been studied for centuries and a wide spectrum of preventative methods and effective pain management techniques are now widely available, pain sometimes has mysterious origins that are not yet clear to scientists or pain management doctors.

Today, we present 7 weird facts about pain which can make you scratch your head and wonder how it is even possible. But don’t scratch too much! Because… ouch!

Remember to never ignore your pain as it may be a sign of an underlying condition. Coastal Pain Medicine provides pain treatment in Pompano Beach and Broward County. Consult your pain management doctor in Pompano Beach and enjoy a pain-free life.

1. Pain can shrink the brain

If you have chronic pain, you know how it can interfere with your daily life. It keeps you from doing things you need to do and like to do. Perhaps you stopped playing tennis or maybe bowling isn’t as much fun as it used to be. Chronic pain can be physically and mentally demoralizing and debilitating.

It can take a toll on your self-esteem and make you feel angry, depressed, anxious, and frustrated. It can prevent you from completing your routine activities and increase your irritability for reasons others, who don’t suffer from chronic pain, don’t quite understand.

It turns out that the brains of people with chronic backaches are as much as 11 percent smaller than those of non-sufferers, scientists reported in 2004. But scientists aren’t sure why. They also discovered that brains of patients suffering from fibromyalgia aged faster and recorded significant brain grey matter loss.

2. What? Painful migraines and sex go hand-in-hand?!

A 2006 study found that migraine sufferers had levels of sexual desire 20 percent higher than those suffering from tension headaches. The finding suggests sexual desire and migraines might be influenced by the same brain chemical.

“Sexual desire and migraine headache have both previously been linked to levels of serotonin, a brain chemical that also plays a role in depression. An excess of serotonin may be associated with decreased libido, and migraine sufferers are reported to have low levels of the chemical.”

Because high levels of serotonin are associated with low sexual desire, and migraine sufferers have low levels of the chemical, it was predicted that they would report higher sex drives.

Getting a better handle on the link could lead to better treatments, at least for the pain portion of the equation.

3. Women feel more pain than men

Yes, it is true. Women experience more pain than men over their lifetimes because of conditions and experiences such as menstruation, childbirth, and migraine headaches. In this study, women reported they felt more pain than men throughout their lifetimes and, compared with men, they feel pain in more areas of the body and for longer durations.

Multiple studies also suggest that women may experience pain differently — often more intensely — than men do. It is because women have more nerve receptors than men. As an example, women have 34 nerve fibers per square centimeter of facial skin, whereas men average just 17.

Looking for a Pain Treatment in Pompano Beach? You have come to the right place!

Coastal Pain Medicine is your best pain clinic in Pompano Beach. We treat the root cause of your pain, with the goal of removing your back pain, instead of simply treating the symptoms.

Pain is a symptom and can be caused by many different types of injuries and conditions. If you are in pain, it is important to see a Board Certified Pain Doctor in Pompano Beach who will be able to diagnose the source of your pain.

Our pain management doctors are very experienced in the evaluation and treatment of the causes of many types of pain, including:

Contact us today for more information. We will be happy to assist.

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