Understanding Pain

Pain & Injury

John Miller Physiotherapist

Article by John Miller

Understanding & Managing Pain

Exploring its Types, Causes, and Impact on Well-Being


Experiencing pain, an unpleasant sensation linked to potential or actual tissue damage, is a common human experience. It’s a complex phenomenon, involving both physical and emotional aspects. This guide, crafted from a physiotherapist’s perspective, aims to demystify pain types, causes, and effective management strategies.

Understanding Different Types of Pain

Pain can be broadly categorised into two types: nociceptive and neuropathic.

  1. Nociceptive Pain: Arises when nociceptors, our body’s specialised nerve endings, detect tissue damage. It can be further split into:
    • Somatic Pain: Linked to skin, muscles, joints, or bones, often described as sharp or localised.
    • Visceral Pain: Originating from internal organs, typically felt as a deep, cramping sensation.
  2. Neuropathic Pain: Results from nervous system damage or dysfunction, presenting as shooting, burning, or tingling sensations.
Severe Back Pain

Common Pain-Related Injuries

  • Musculoskeletal Injuries: Involving muscles, bones, ligaments, and tendons. Pain is usually sharp or aching, localised to the affected area.
  • Traumatic Injuries: Resulting from accidents or physical assaults, with pain varying by injury type and severity.
  • Overuse Injuries: Occurring from repetitive stress, often causing persistent pain that worsens with activity.
  • Nerve Injuries: Causing pain described as shooting or burning, often due to nerve compression or damage.

The Subjectivity of Pain

Pain is a subjective experience, influenced by individual pain tolerance, emotional state, cultural background, and past experiences. It’s essential to recognise this variability when assessing and managing pain.

Recent Research in Pain Management

Recent studies emphasise the importance of a holistic approach to pain management, incorporating physical therapy, lifestyle modifications, and psychological support. Advances in physiotherapy techniques, like dry needling and manual therapy, have shown promising results in pain relief and functional improvement.

When to Consult a Physiotherapist?

If you’re experiencing persistent or severe pain, it’s advisable to consult a physiotherapist or doctor. They can provide tailored treatments, including exercises, manual therapies, and pain education, to aid in recovery and prevent future injuries.


Understanding pain’s nature and impact is crucial for effective management. A physiotherapist can play a vital role in diagnosing, treating, and educating patients about pain and injury.

What to Do?

If you’re struggling with pain, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice from a physiotherapist. They can guide you through a personalised treatment plan to manage your pain effectively.

Related Articles:

You've just added this product to the cart: