Narrator: This is Science Today. Physical
pain is not an experience many of us consider positive,
but it does have its good points. Not only does
it alert our body to possible danger but researcher
Holly Strausbaugh of the University of California,
San Francisco says pain also seems to prevent the
body from slipping into states of chronic inflammation.
Strausbaugh: Inflammation is the body's first
line of defense against invading organisms or irritants
or things like that. And usually inflammation's
really good at dealing with these organisms and
getting rid of them and making us better. But if
it's not properly controlled and it keeps on going,
chronic inflammatory disease can result.
Narrator: Pain is experienced when inflammation
builds up. Strausbaugh found molecular evidence
suggesting this pain then signals the brain to put
the brakes on inflammatory response before it reaches
a disease state.
Strausbaugh: And how it does that is, it
inhibits the first white blood cells called neutrophils
that go into the inflammatory lesion.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.