Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Benefits of Pain - An RSI Perspective

Pain does serve a purpose ...

"The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) defines pain as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage. The word "pain" comes from the Latin root poena meaning punishment, a fine, a penalty (Wikipedia: Pain and Nociception). Although often connected with negative feelings, pain actually has some very important functions.

There are two types of pain: acute pain and chronic pain. Acute pain occurs for specific reasons. With acute pain, an actual or potentially damaging event triggers special sensory nerve endings located in the skin, muscles and joints. These neural impulses then travel through the dorsal horns of the spinal cord and up to the higher centers of the brainstem and brain. An automatic and rapid course of action to eliminate the event and prevent further injury is decided upon.

• Acute pain is a protective mechanism that helps us avoid damaging situations. It warns us that damage is imminent and provides information that the body uses to avoid further injury. For example, acute pain warns us to quickly remove our hand from a hot stove top.

• Acute pain lets us know when we need to seek medical attention - such as when we have received a cut, broken a bone, or are having a heart attack. Our action may be as small putting on a band-aid or as extreme as a visit to the Emergency Room.

• Acute pain is also a signal that we need to rest a body part to allow it to heal. For example, the pain of a broken ankle prevents us from putting weight on the leg until the bone has healed enough to withstand it."    (Continued via Bella Online)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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