It doesn't go far enough in terms of identifying what creates the state and degree of pain.
Pain is interpreted individually based on socialization, culture, education and many other variables.
Some researchers have identified emotional states associated with arthritis and other health issues. Perhaps this is a step beyond the physical and mental components of health and moving forward toward the recognition of emotional and spiritual factors in today's industrialized medicine.
Study: Pain causes osteoarthritis
Sept. 30, 2008 ROCHESTER, N.Y., (UPI) -- Pain is not just a symptom of osteoarthritis, it causes the disease, say researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
A study, published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism, revealed that pain signals originating in arthritic joints -- and the biochemical processing of the signals as they reach the spinal cord -- worsen and expand arthritis, causing disease at both ends.
In addition, the researchers found that nerve pathways carrying pain signals transfer inflammation from arthritic joints to the spine and back again.
"Until relatively recently, osteoarthritis was believed to be due solely to wear and tear, an inevitable part of aging," said Stephanos Kyrkanides, an associate professor of dentistry at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
"Recent studies have revealed, however, that specific biochemical changes contribute to the disease, changes that might be reversed by precision-designed drugs. Our study provides the first solid proof that some of those changes are related to pain processing, and suggests the mechanisms behind the effect."
Furthermore, if joint arthritis can cause neuro-inflammation, it could have a role in conditions like Alzheimer's disease, dementia and multiple sclerosis, the researchers suggest.