Pain may be described as an unpleasant sensation occurring in varying degrees of severity as a result of injury, disease, emotional disorder or distress. Dull, sharp, gnawing, aching, stinging, nagging, throbbing, pounding, shooting, stabbing, radiating, searing, tearing, pinching, suffocating and splitting, these are just a few synonyms by which we describe the agonizing pain. Pain is actually a feeling triggered in the brain or nervous system, it may be dull or very harsh, it may remain or go depending upon the triggering reasons. Pain is the foremost member of a class of sensations known as bodily sensations, which includes itches, tickles, and tingles and so on.
SYMPTOMS AND TYPES OF PAIN:
The feeling of physical pain can differ greatly - mild, sharp, severe, and dull. There are various ways to classify pain. One of the easiest is to divide into 2 groups:
Nociceptive and Neuropathic pain:
In this type of pain the nervous system is working properly and it sends proper signal from the areas of pain to the brain. Whenever there is a source of pain, such as a cut, a broken bone or a problem with the spine the brain starts working to give the signals that one is injured.
There are two types of nociceptive pain:
1. Visceral pain
Visceral pain is pain in the internal organs. It comes from the organs or the blood vessels, which are not as extensively supplied by sensory nerves. In contrast to somatic pain, visceral pain may feel dull and vague, and may be harder to pinpoint. Some common types of visceral pain include:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Bladder pain
- Endometriosis pain
- Prostate pain
2. Somatic pain
Somatic pain comes from the skin and deep tissues. It is generally described as musculoskeletal pain. As many nerves supply the bones, muscles and other soft tissues, somatic pain is usually easier to locate than visceral pain. Some common types of Somatic pain include:
- Tension headaches
- Pelvic pain
- Chronic back pain (not caused by nerve damage)
The body’s nervous system is not working properly. There is no obvious source of pain but surely the damage is present. It is associated with the abnormal sensations and the pain produced by normally non-painful stimuli. Neuropathic pain may have episodic components. Common qualities include burning or coldness, "pins and needles" sensations, numbness and itching.
Some common pains felt are:
The causes of back pain can be multifaceted- accidents, muscle strains, sports injuries. Stiffness, lower back pain, and pain radiating down the leg are symptoms of back pain.
- Chronic Shoulder and Neck Pain
All kinds of joint and muscle problems can cause neck and shoulder pain resulting in over-exertion, pinched nerves
Muscle sprains, strains, and pains, these all result from different sorts of assaults, small to severe.
Abdominal pain has numerous causes- ranging from mild stomach ache, sharp pain or stomach cramps.
- Depression, Anxiety related Pain
Depression, anxiety, and other emotional problems can cause pain or make existing pain worse.
DIAGNOSIS AND TESTING:
Researchers say pain is often undertreated or untreated, many times leading to harmful side effects. Pain is one of the most common reasons for which persons visit the doctor. Even with all the descriptive and colorful words, it is shockingly very difficult to describe how pain feels because each of us experience pain in our own way.
We have a lot of words to describe pain. While talking to your doctor you should keep in mind to tell the doctor about the following points:
- Onset: When did the pain actually start?
- Location: Where does it hurt?
- Duration: When you have pain, how long does it remain?
- Characteristics: Describe the pain type in words.
- Aggravating factors: What worsen your pain?
- Relieving factors: What makes your pain better?
- Temporal factors: How does your pain vary in course of the day?
- Severity: How would you describe the intensity of your pain on a 0-10 scale? None, mild, moderate, severe, etc.
Based on your answers to these points your doctor may advice you to undergo physical examination, X-RAY testing, MRI scan, CT-scan, and EMG (electromyogram).
There are a wide range of treatments available but not all will be suitable for everyone, and it is important to discuss your options with your doctor.
It falls into three main areas .It is performed mainly by physiotherapists, chiropractors and osteopaths.
Mobilization is a tender form of physical treatment where the joint is moved as much as possible within the existing range of motions.
Manipulation is more forceful movement of a joint, possibly beyond what the joint could normally do.
(Both of these can help to improve the array of movement and reduce pain allowing increased exercise and activity)
Massage is a gentle, hands-on treatment that can help muscles to loosen up and can divert you from the pain. The effects of massage may only be short term, but may help you get over a difficult time.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) aims to block pain signals such as they pass through the spinal cord on the way to the brain. It does this by passing a gentle electrical current through the skin via stick-on electrodes. This helps to reduce the pain in an akin way to ’rubbing the pain better’.
- ACUPUNCTURE is another way, though short lived it could prove highly beneficial to some people.
- MEDICATION or painkillers are quite handy. They come in various forms such as topical medicines: Creams, Ointments, Spray and gel along with the Oral Capsules and Tablets.
EXAMPLE OF DRUGS
Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
|Paracetamol and Codeine
|Paracetamol and Dihydrocodeine
Apart from therapies and medications various factors of our day to day life can help us to manage pain like proper exercise, correct posture, nutritious diet, weight control and quitting smoking can surely help us to control the pain triggers.