Why Pain is Bad

Pain can enter your life for various reasons. Perhaps you have had pain for brief periods due to surgery or an accident – or maybe your pain is more chronic in nature, due to back problems, diabetes or arthritis.

Pain can be caused by many illnesses and may even be a side effect of medical treatments used to cure disease, such as surgery or chemotherapy.

Everyone knows that pain is no fun. But two important things we also know are:

  1. Most pain can be treated with the medications available today (when prescribed by someone with pain management expertise)
  2. There are consequences to untreated pain
  3. Research has demonstrated that people who are living with pain are more likely to experience depression. Pain can also cause fatigue, missed work, increased disability and decreased quality of life.

If you are living with chronic pain – there is help.

First, ask yourself why you are tolerating this pain in your life? Is it because of beliefs you have about pain? Sometimes people think that they need the pain so they will know if their disease is worsening – or even that somehow they are meant to suffer. If this is the case, talk to your doctor about your thoughts. He or she can reassure you that your disease will be monitored and there is no reason for you to suffer.

On the other hand, some people live with pain because they are weary of morphine and medications like it (see the 2/08 issue of Quick Facts, Morphine: Myths and Reality, for more information about morphine and why you shouldn’t be afraid).

Or maybe you are living with pain because your doctor hasn’t been able to find the right medications to alleviate your suffering. If this is the case, let your doctor know. He or she can try new medications or refer you to a pain or palliative care specialist who is an expert in pain control.

The bottom line is there is no reason to live with pain caused by illness.

Pain not only feels awful – but also can be bad for your health.