There are several ways in which your body tells you something is not right – one of them is pain. An unpleasant feeling arises when a person is injured or sick – pain is mediated in the body by nerve fibers that send the brain signals to the brain. Since every body is different, the perception of pain and the tolerance levels are also different.
However, there are five types of medical pain in totality which are as follows:
- Acute Pain: Acute pain generally lasts about 3-5 minutes and is mainly associated with temporary illness or soft-tissue injury. However, if the temporary illness or injury is not treated correctly, it has the capability of evolving into chronic pain. One of the most common acute pains is back pain resulting from bad posture or injury.
Acute pain should be treated as soon as possible because if left unnoticed, it might progress to chronic pain, which is even worse. When a person sees a doctor for acute pain management, there are several questions for the patient that the doctor has:
o How bad is the pain?
o When did it start?
o What increases the pain?
Doctors’ primary goal in acute pain management is to provide treatment or medication that reduces the patient’s pain and causes minimal side effects.
- Chronic Pain: Constant or intermittent pain that continues for months or even years is knows as chronic pain. Chronic pain normally begins as acute pain but ends up lingering around beyond the normal course of healing. Conditions like arthritis and migraine are common examples of chronic pain.
In most cases of arthritis and migraine, complete elimination of pain is not possible, which is why doctors have several treatment goals of minimizing the pain and maximizing the function. There are multiple ways to control chronic pain like physiotherapy for arthritis and botox for migranes.
- Neuropathic Pain: Damage to nerves or other parts of the nervous system often leads to neuropathic pain. This pain is often described as a burning or stabbing sensation. Neuropathic pain can be intermittent. It can mess with your regular body movements and can also cause mobility problems in some cases.
There are no apparent causes for neuropathic pain. Still, some of the common causes observed by doctors are alcoholism, HIV, diabetes, chemotherapy, etc. In such cases, doctors’ first line of treatment is anticonvulsant and antidepressant drugs. Doctors also try to engage their patients in physical therapy, massage, and relaxation therapy to treat neuropathic pain.
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- Nociceptive Pain: Nociceptive pain generally happens due to damaged body tissues. It generally results from a body injury like twisting the ankle, hitting your elbow, or falling or scrapping. A throbbing sensation – it can be both acute and chronic and is mostly experienced in joints, muscles, skin, and bones.
There are many ways to treat nociceptive pain:
o Physical therapy to strengthen the diseased tissues
o Prescription medication
o Electrical stimulation and nerve blocking
- Radicular Pain: Radicular pain is caused when your spinal nerve gets inflamed or compressed. It can cause numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness in people. It moves from the back and the hip into the legs via the spine and spinal nerve root and can impact everyday activities like walking, sitting, and sleeping.