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PEA and Chronic Pain

PEA and Stubborn Pain

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Hi, Dr. Warner here again –

Today I want to discuss the use of palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) for recurring pain and inflammation.

Neuroinflammation, or an inflammatory condition of the central nervous system, is now being thought of as the source of chronic pain. This is the common mechanism of many central nervous system (CNS) disorders. Chronic pain is one central nervous system disorder, as are Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer’s disease, and others.

Most current pharmaceuticals and other treatments for pain follow a neuronal cell target plan – that is, they target the neurons themselves and not the supporting cells of the nervous system. The supporting cells are far more numerous. Today, it is thought that the neuroinflammation causing most disorders is actually damaging the surrounding supporting cells of the central nervous system rather than the neurons themselves.

Supporting cells include Glial cells, microglia, astrocytes, and others. Microglia cells are especially active in neuroinflammation. Like most cells and systems in the human body, balance is necessary for the proper function of the microglia. Too little activation results in less recovery of injury in the CNS, and too much activation can induce autoimmune responses and neural death. Glia represent the link between chronic pain and neuroinflammation.

Neuropathic Pain Responses Within the Body

Neuropathic pain is almost untreatable and results in recurring pain. This is from damage, degeneration, or dysfunction in the sensory system. Neuropathic pain is considered with spinal cord injury, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, stroke, cancer, and other metabolic problems. Neuropathic pain is dependent on supporting structures of the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS).

Microglia are activated in the face of injury or infection in order to bring immune cells to the CNS and PNS. This allows the immune system to fight off the infection, remove damaged cells, clean up reactive oxygen species. However, persistently active microglial cells will eventually cause cognitive issues and chronic pain through pathological functions.

To make a long explanation shorter – microglial cells lead to peripheral and central sensitization and inflammatory and neuropathic pain because of the over-release of TNF-alpha and IL-1Beta. These neuromodulators are produced after injury or infection of peripheral and central nerves. This means that such recurring pain is actually a result of imbalance in the immune system.

The immune system is activated to aid the nervous system when the microglial cells ask for help. The microglial cells are always surveying at the cellular level. When pathogens or injury are discovered, cytokines are released that call in the immune cells to clean up and fight off the pathogenic insult. This promotes an inflammatory response which creates neurotoxins. The neurotoxins in turn induce more inflammation. Without a good system to control the toxins produced during the treatment of the pathogen or injury to the nervous system, neuroinflammation will occur.

Tools for Treating Your Pain

There are many pharmaceutical companies striving to make mass-produced synthetic drugs to treat this source of chronic pain, neural inflammation, and other disorders. However, there are natural substances already available that have been safely used for years that are also available.

If you believe in empowering patients to treat themselves, as I do, then you must give them the tools to build up their internal systems that protect against neuroinflammation. Lipid mediators have shown to have the ability to protect against neuroinflammation. The level and actions of these important natural lipid molecules are lower in chronic inflammatory states (such as chronic pain). Among these amazing and natural lipid mediators are the N-acetylethanolamines (NAE). These are natural compounds made on-demand in our bodies at the lipid bilayer of cells. They are made of a fatty acid and an organic ethanolamine compound.

The reason that cannabidiol (CBD) and medical marijuana work is not because they themselves perform the actions that reduce the symptoms of inflammatory disorders. 

Rather, CBD simply increases the amount of available anandamide, one of these NAEs. Another very important and very active NAE is palmitoylethanolamide, or PEA.

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PEA protects the nervous system and can control chronic pain. PEA is an endogenous molecule that maintains balance within the cells during neurodegenerative and inflammatory conditions. PEA is a natural way to counterattack neuroinflammation, pain, and neuronal damage.

PEA beneficially modifies the activities of the microglial cells during the pathogenic attacks on the CNS or PNS. This is just one of the proposed mechanisms of action of this normal, naturally occurring fatty acid compound.

Well Theory: Fight Your Pain, Naturally

Our new Well Theory PEA products are formulated with natural compounds such as CBD to help you find relief from recurring pain easily.

Our Foot Pain Relief Cream is formulated with PEA + other natural ingredients to soothe foot pain on contact, and then PEA does the rest – naturally relieving inflammation. Our new Pain Relief + Recovery Cream also helps soothe away muscle and joint aches and is ideal for fast relief after exercise. Both of these products help relieve pain when you need it most, lower inflammation, and support a healthy endocannabinoid system.

If you are looking for relief from daily pain, order our products today!


Dr. Meredith Warner is the creator of Well Theory and The Healing Sole. She is a board-certified Orthopedic Surgeon and Air Force Veteran.

She is on a mission to disrupt traditional medicine practices and promote betterment physically, spiritually and mentally to many more people. She advocates for wellness and functional health over big pharma so more people can age vibrantly with more function and less pain.

At Well Theory, Our surgeon-designed products are FDA Registered and formulated to help people:

  • Manage the symptoms of musculoskeletal pain
  • Recover vibrantly from orthopedic related surgeries
  • Fill the gaps in our daily diets
  • Manage pain associated with inflammation

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