Genetics and pain?

This may seem like a silly question, but can some of us be genetically pre disposed to being in pain or have something genetically wrong that makes us be in so much pain..

Could a geneticist find something lacking in us that causes so much pain?

Apart from my operation I have severe pain which is unrelated and was there prior but still undiagnosed... yet I suffer so badly from pain.

Could a geneticist find answers?

Just a thought..

12 Replies

oldestnewest
  • Apparently there is a genetics base for back pain something to do with the type of collagen which is 'softer'. Perhaps same applies to problem with nervous system which makes us feel pain? :(

  • I don't know about genetics and having pain, but I know all too well that there is a genetic explanation for the fact that some people are unable to metabolise many medications (including a lot of pain meds) sufficiently well to get the desired effect - and are more prone to side-effects from others as we don't break them down quickly enough.

    I didn't really believe Mum when she said that painkillers didn't work - until I discovered that I was the same.

    Ann

  • Yes, I was told by my Orthopaedic Physician that my red hair is a risk, so is being female, so is having a hyper mobility syndrome, which I have.

  • Genetics and pain is an interesting one. Take all disease out of the equation and you are left with multiple generations who experience pain.

    Its not so easy to pinpoint as we know arthitis can be genetic and that causes pain, but that pain is not genetic in origin, its attached to the arthritis.

    Logic says its possible as they are finding new genetic links all the time.

    Chronic pain is the result of a faulty pain mechanism, so I think the answer lies in the brain. The bit that switches pain off is jammed, missing or fried, finding a way to unlock it again would be a step forward for many people. Maybe with pain, other nerve endings are getting fried. (this happens at a cellular level).

    Stress creates acid which fries the nerve endings in the brain, the more stress the more acid produced and the less brain function.

    For such a thourough and exact design, requiring exact amounts of each element, compound and attyom, the human body doesn't need much to take it out of kilter.

  • Chronic pain is not necessarily the result of a faulty pain mechanism. Chronic pain can the result of a faulty muscular response. Faulty muscular response can generate a lot of pain. Unfortunately as the medical profession do not know very much about faulty muscular response they concentrate on pain pathways and claim they are the problem. In fact the pain pathways are working as they should and reporting on the muscle spasm that is generating the pain.

    Chiropractic technique works to relieve back pain in many instances by releasing muscles attached to the spine which in turn releases other muscles. Alexander Technique works very effectively on pain because it helps teach people how not to use muscle the wrong way.

    Reflexology works in reducing pain in a numbe of cases because it helps to relax various tense muscles.

  • Surely a faulty muscle response is also controlled by the brain (which may instruct hormones, chemicals to react to make the muscle work). These may be lacking, or in excess, or just don't connect with the brain signal to make the muscle work.

    Massage normal and deep works to release muscles. The message that musckle got to tighten up, and to remain tight would have been in response to an injury and would have originated in the brain. The bit thats missing is the second message that tells the muscle to relax because the injury is repaired. (which is what happoens in acute pain).

  • Genetics is where we have different types of muscle and the IQ factor in the control of muscle. The brain controls muscles by getting the timing sequences right and giving instructions telling one set of muscles not to contract and the other set of muscles to contract.

    The brain gets feedback from Muscle Proprioceptors which then modifies the control of the muscle. It is very easy to send the wrong signal to the muscles and cause muscle tension problems because there is no nerve pathway to tell muscles to relax only a signal pathway which is the same as that telling the muscles to contract and the message which says you do not have to contract so much. However overcontracted muscle can remain in a contracted state until it is stretched out by another muscle or by chiropractic manipulation or by massage.

    I have been doing Alexander Technique for over 35 years and one of the things I have learnt is that it is very easy to over contract muscle and it is a matter of trial and error to get just enough contraction for the task in hand.

    Muscle consists of lots of muscle fibres. Effective use is by increasing the number of muscle fibres in order to obtain more strength. However it is also quite easy to over contract a few muscle rather than use more muscle fibres. This can create muscle knots which cannot relax very well. Muscle knots can press on nerves with resulted pain, loss of function ability and the creation of pain in body extremities further away. The muscle knots can cause the buildup of lactic acid because a muscle knot will cause localised reduction of nutrient supply from the blood.

    There are feedback mechanisms in the body which can register the fact that certain parts of the body are not getting enough blood which results in higher blood pressure to try and push blood though a muscle knot.

    Muscles are strongest at their longest length. The more contracted they are the weaker they get.

    The training of effective and efficient use of muscle is not a simple five minute job it can take months and years.

    There is no money for the pharmaceutical companies in doing trials to show how better use of muscles will help reduce many health problems. In fact pharmaceutical companies will loose money if the trials are done. There are no side effects from better and improved usage other than lose of personal time and money compared to the side effects of taking various types of drugs.

    Hope this helps.

  • Yes, I understand more. So any treatment that helps muscle function will help pain to a greater or lesser extent. Whether that just be a warm hand placed over the muscle to encourage greater blood flow or a full blown pummelling type massage.

  • This is true. There is the need for skilled hand use which is subtle.

    There are other factors as well. Pain is stressful. We have stress limits below which we function above which we do not. When you are in pain and have been for a long time there is a need to work at finding ways to reduce stress in order to keep our stress level below our stress breakdown point.

    So even if the massage does not remove the full blown pain it can provide stress reduction which helps keep your stress below the stress breakdown point and thus enable you to keep functioning well.

    When one is fit and well the little things can be left to look after themselves. When you are unwell then the little things have importance. This is because the little things generate stress which places you nearer your stress breakdown point. One of the jobs we have to do to remain functioning is to observe the little things which generate problems and work on removing the little problem. This will enable stress reduction. The big problem is something we have to grin and bare with a smile. It is easier to do this when lots of very minoor problems have been eliminated.

    For example even if a little bit of stiffness in the hand is not worth bothering about because you have pain in your back which drives you crazy. Eliminating the minor stiffness in your hand with a bit of massage will improve your ability to handle the pain in your back.

    This is a matter of experimentation. Mindfulness and meditation are good tools to help enable you to explore the issues of what works, needs working on, and hinders the handling of chronic pain

  • Hello

    Genetic Pain, not sure, a genetic illness that causes chronic pain I have leanings to.

    Chronic pain is caused by the body when it says to a pain, HEY I AM HERE DARE YOU FORGET ME.

    This type of pain becomes a pain in the bum it tells and sensitizes us to a condition that sticks to us like dogs dodo

    It demands our undivided attention all the time, it is like a pub bore who will not leave you alone. This makes matters worse and it keeps us giving more to it as it is always there like a bad penny. We have become sensitised to to it demands far to much of our time , When we have chronic pain it will not be the same in every case chronic pain is personal a those with the same problem will feel it differently. That to me is chronic pain I would not even give it capital letters

    All the best in pain

    BOB

  • John,

    You think along the same ways as me but are better at describing it.

    I doubt I'd be able to function without any meditation now. It ranges from a full blown hour in a darkened room with incense or burning oils and my cd that relaxes then encourages me to think of my pain as a colour. Then to change the colour to switch the pain off. The aftermath of these sessions gives me a feeling similar to a hangover, slight disorientation to location, time, but an overall lightness in my body, which may last an hour or 2.

    Less deep meditation which may cross over to mindfulness may happen on a car jouney (passenger)or in a cafe when I've stopped for a rest. I will focus all my attention on something - a number on the dashboard, the radio knob, crumbs on the table, flowers etc. Then I allow other things around me back into my awareness, slowly and fully until I am back in the present. This may last 10 mins or so, and usually goes undetected by those around me. It doesn't stop the pain but it causes a blip in the perception and resets the pain back to the norm.

    Abnormal activity causes more pain - and maybe this is a habit my body has gotten into.

    But I do being weird quite well :)

    Its impossible to do all the time, so I try to ve organised about it.

  • John,

    You think along the same ways as me but are better at describing it.

    I doubt I'd be able to function without any meditation now. It ranges from a full blown hour in a darkened room with incense or burning oils and my cd that relaxes then encourages me to think of my pain as a colour. Then to change the colour to switch the pain off. The aftermath of these sessions gives me a feeling similar to a hangover, slight disorientation to location, time, but an overall lightness in my body, which may last an hour or 2.

    Less deep meditation which may cross over to mindfulness may happen on a car jouney (passenger)or in a cafe when I've stopped for a rest. I will focus all my attention on something - a number on the dashboard, the radio knob, crumbs on the table, flowers etc. Then I allow other things around me back into my awareness, slowly and fully until I am back in the present. This may last 10 mins or so, and usually goes undetected by those around me. It doesn't stop the pain but it causes a blip in the perception and resets the pain back to the norm.

    Abnormal activity causes more pain - and maybe this is a habit my body has gotten into.

    But I do being weird quite well :)

    Its impossible to do all the time, so I try to ve organised about it.

You may also like...