Pain: A Gift In Disguise Essay

2041 words - 8 pages

Pain is worldwide. In every county and every city, pain is being experienced. Whether it is the pain of a stubbed toe or the pain of a massive heart attack, someone is in pain and that pain has a purpose. However, from the first experience of pain we begin to suspect that pain is no friend of ours. And as we continue to endure and be subjected to pain, we begin to loathe it. As the dislike towards pain grows, we Americans give up on bearing and conquering pain. Our medicine cabinets have become filled with pain pills and popping a pill at every miniscule ache has become routine. Yes, some pains of excruciating and chronic levels should be diminished, but pain should never be eradicated. We may wish to be invincible to pain, but pain has a purpose and it is a necessity to be felt. As humans with no natural armor, we fear pain and try to escape it; however, the rare disease of Congenital Insensitivity to pain reinforces and confirms that pain is the vital teacher essential to our survival, and above all we should all be grateful for pain.
Pain can be felt in many different areas in various degrees. We all experience pain differently, but all pain is a property not only of the senses, but of our brain and our expectations as well (Myers 227). There are many different theories of how our bodies experience pain, but the most common is the Gate-Control theory.
The Gate- Control theory conceives that the spinal cord contains a neurological “gate” that either blocks pain signals or allows them to pass on to the brain. The spinal cord contains small nerve fibers that conduct most pain signals and larger fibers that contain most other sensory signals. When the tissue is injured, the small fibers activate and open the neural gate causing you to feel pain. Large fiber activity then closes the pain gate, turning the pain off. (Myers 227)
In general, there are three different types of pain. The three types of pain consist of somatic, neuropathic, and visceral. Somatic pain involves distress in the skin, bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints (Gagné). Bruising and cutting yourself, as well as breaking bones are grouped with somatic pain. Neuropathic pain involves burning, tingling, and shooting sensations throughout parts of the body due to dysfunction of the central nervous system (Richeimer). Visceral pain originates from contractions in a hollow organ and most commonly produces cramps or stomach pains (Gagné).
But no matter the type of pain or its degree, all pain has a purpose and that purpose is our survival. Pain may be unbearable and a major drawback, but its main role is keeping us alive and for that we should be grateful. Pain has a protective function and first serves as a signal of injury (O’hara 21). In addition, pain disciplines us if we take extreme risks or push our bodies past our physical limits (Vertosick 1). The pain then remains active during the healing process to promote rest. To humans and animals alike, pain matters...

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