A Blog Article by David E. Smalley, M.D.
This article is on a topic of general interest that is covered much more in depth in the book, The Miracle of Pain. The content is educational and should not be used as medical advice.
The original photos below emphasize the wonders of nature around us, which reflect the miracles within us.
April 27, 2019 -- What good is pain?
Pain is something to respect. It is always a warning sign. If ignored, there are always negative consequences. Earlier warning signs, such as swelling and tingling, are also worthy of respect, because they are always warning signs as well. There are some common and some rare conditions where a patient cannot feel pain. Diabetic neuropathy is common and congenital absence of pain is rare.
Some of the negative consequences of not feeling pain, masking it or ignoring it include chronic recurrent pain, ulcers of the feet, infection and numbness or paralysis.
By paying attention to pain or other earlier warning signs, we can learn what makes it worse and what makes it better. I have had to relearn that same principle many times, in fact each time I have had to recover from an injury or pain.
Learning about our pain sounds easy, but it is not. We must not only notice and learn, we have to use what we have learned often to remember it, to adjust it to different circumstances and to fine tune it. Then we must appreciate it and be consistent with using what we have learned about our pain to control it or get over it.