Medically, pain relates to a sensation that hurts. A discomfort, distress and perhaps agony, depending on the severity of pain. This can be steady and constant, in which case it may be an ache. It might be a throbbing pain – a pulsating pain. The pain could have a pinching sensation, or a stabbing one. It may be generated at one part of the body and continue to last in the same place, or in some cases also get extended to other parts of the body.
Types of pain
– this is generally intense and short-lived. Acute pain may be an indication of an injury. When the injury heals the pain usually goes away.
– this sensation lasts much longer than acute pain. Chronic pain can be mild or intense (severe).
How do we classify pain?
Pain can be categorized under various heads as-nociceptive, non-nociceptive, somatic, visceral, neuropathic, or sympathetic:
–It is a result of specific pain receptors being stimulated. These receptors sense temperature (hot/cold), vibration, stretch, and chemicals released from damaged cells.
– It is a pain felt on the skin, muscle, joints, bones and ligaments. The term musculoskeletal actually refers to somatic pain. The pain receptors are sensitive to temperature (hot/cold), vibration, and stretch (in the muscles). They are also sensitive to inflammation.
Somatic pain is generally sharp and well localized – if you touch it or move the affected area the pain will worsen.
– It is felt in the internal organs and main body cavities. The cavities are divided into the thorax (lungs and heart), abdomen (bowels, spleen, liver and kidneys), and the pelvis (ovaries, bladder, and the womb). The pain receptors – nociceptors – sense inflammation, stretch and ischemia (oxygen starvation).
Pain that comes from the nervous system is called non-nociceptive because there are no specific pain receptors. When a nerve is injured it becomes unstable and its signaling system becomes muddled and haphazard. The brain interprets these abnormal signals as pain. This randomness can also cause other sensations, such as numbness, pins and needles, tingling, and hypersensitivity to temperature, vibration and touch. The pain can sometimes be unpredictable because of this.
Nerve pain is also known as neuropathic pain. It is a type of non-nociceptive pain. It comes from within the nervous system itself. It is often referred as pinched nerve, or trapped nerve. The pain can originate from the nerves between the tissues and the spinal cord (peripheral nervous system) and the nerves between the spinal cord and the brain.
Sympathetic pain occurs usually after any fracture or a soft tissue injury of the limbs. The nerve is injured, becomes unstable and fires off random, chaotic, abnormal signals to the brain, which interprets them as pain.
Generally with this kind of pain the skin and the area around the injury become extremely sensitive. The pain often restricts the use of particular arm or leg. Lack of limb use after a time can cause other problems, such as muscle wasting, osteoporosis, and stiffness in the joints.
- Abdomen Pain
- Chest Pain
- Foot Pain
- Hand Pain
- Hip Pain
- Knee Pain
- Leg Pain
- Neck Pain
- Pelvic Pain
- Phantom Pain
- Post Operative Pain
- Shoulder Pain