Article by John Miller
We all suffer pain. We all do different things to cause pain. We all feel pain slightly differently.
Why is pain so difficult to explain to others?
Why does pain persist in some of us, but not in others?
Maybe it's because we have difficulty understanding the who, what, where, when and how about pain.
Pain... a simple word... a pandora box of thinking! The following article is designed to help you understand pain and pain management.
Types of Pain
Nerve pain (neuropathic pain) is pain caused by damage or disease that affects your nervous system. Nerve pain can occur due to direct damage to the nerve (eg diabetic peripheral neuropathy, cut nerve, post-stroke). Alternatively, it can be affected by a virus eg shingles.
Nociceptive pain seems a little easier to explain. It occurs when you knowingly damage something eg a muscle tear or a broken bone.
The nerve endings in the damaged tissue detect a problem and initiates pain signals that are transferred through your peripheral nerves to the brain via the spinal cord. Your brain interprets the signals as pain.
Nociceptive Pain Types
Just to complicate things a little more there are two types of nociceptive pain. Somatic pain and radicular pain.
Somatic pain is pain caused by the injured structures eg muscles and joints sending pain signals up to your spinal cord and then brain.
The more pinched a nerve becomes the more likely you are to experience a radiculopathy. Symptoms can include muscle weakness, numbness, pins and needles or loss of reflexes in the distribution of the pinched nerve.
Acute Pain vs Chronic Pain
Acute pain is associated with a new onset on pain. It is normally associated with injury.
Chronic pain is persisting pain that has lasted over three months. Interestingly, chronic pain is not usually related to damaged tissue. Chronic pain is different to acute pain. Another term for chronic pain could actually be "brain pain". If you suffer chronic pain, I highly recommended reading the following articles and viewing the video to understand more about chronic pain.
More information about Pain & Chronic Pain
What is Chronic Pain?
What is Pain?
What is Nerve Pain?
Muscle & Joint Pain
Pain Management Options
Pain Relief Products Online
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