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What is Pain?

August 3rd, 2021

How are y’all doing this week? Can you believe it is already August? This year is flying by quickly, but August means the start of one of my favorite seasons, football! I am a huge football fan and can’t wait to be back at the stadium for tailgating and games. I know for some, August is crazy because you are getting the kids ready to go back to school and start a new routine. I hope this a pain-free process, and everyone is able to transition smoothly into a regular schedule. August is pain awareness month, and I will be exploring what pain is, how to listen to your body, how to deal with pain and how to develop your personal plan when it comes to pain. Needless to say, August is going to be a busy month, but I hope you find the blogs helpful.

What is pain? Merriam-Webster defines pain as “a localized or generalized unpleasant bodily sensation or complex of sensations that causes mild to severe physical discomfort and emotional distress and typically results from bodily disorder (such as injury or disease).” According to the American Nurse Association, pain has seven core aspects: physical, sensory, behavioral, sociocultural, cognitive, affective, and spiritual. Wow, have you learned anything yet? I sure have, I am familiar with physical, cognitive, and behavioral aspects of pain but not with the other characteristics.

Let’s dive into how these characteristics of pain look. Physical is probably the one we are all most familiar with as this refers to current of recent changes in the person’s physical appearance and vital signs. Sensory includes quality and severity of pain, subjective information that only the person experiencing the pain can provide. Behavioral is the patient’s verbal and nonverbal behavior response to pain. Sociocultural refers to how the patient’s social and cultural background effect their perception of and response to pain. Cognitive aspect is the patient’s thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, intentions, and motivations related to pain and its management. The patient’s emotional feelings in response to pain, refers to the affective dimension of pain. The spiritual dimension could affect pain-management planning as this refers to the ultimate meaning and purpose the patient attributes to pain, self, others and the divine.

There are obviously more layers to pain than just the physical signs and what we feel or experience as a result of pain. Did you realize all the factors that go into our pain experience and how much we have trained our mind to listen to or ignore the pain signals? We can experience more intense pain if we have been taught that any pain is unbearable or if we have unresolved or trapped negative emotions. I recently began reading a book, The Emotion Code, that explains what trapped emotions are and how they can negatively affect our overall health. The book doesn’t stop there as it also teaches you how to find and release any trapped emotion that you may have.

I hope I have not overwhelmed you with information this week and that you will join me the rest of this month as we continue to look closer at pain. Whether this is the first time reading my blog, or you are a loyal subscriber, Thank you! I am so glad you tuned in this week! Do you have a friend or family member that could benefit from this blog? Tell them to subscribe!

Have a blessed week ~ Lacey

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