The Anatomy of Pain: its Types, Causes and Treatments

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Pain Management: Types of Pain and Treatment Options

Pain may be defined as an uncomfortable and unpleasant sensation, as well as an emotional experience that is linked with tissue damage. This sensation allows the body to react in order to prevent further tissue damage. People feel pain when a signal travels through the body’s nerve network to the brain so that it can process such a sensation.

If there has been some damage caused to the body due to injury, or if there is something else that is wrong, the nerves in the body send that information to the brain for interpretation. The brain then makes you feel pain.

However, pain is a very common condition in human beings. Pain may be caused by a variety of factors. The occurrence of pain increases with age, so younger people experience less pain than older people, and women have a higher likelihood of experiencing pain than men.

Broadly speaking, there are two types of pain that a person may experience, namely acute pain and chronic pain.

Acute Pain is the body’s normal response to an injury. Acute pain starts abruptly and usually does not last long.

Chronic Pain is the type of pain that continues for periods of time longer than the time it was expected to take to heal. Chronic pain usually lasts for over three months.

That being said, pain has no single, constrained definition. Pain could be any sensation from a dull ache, to a sharp piercing or stabbing sensation. Pain can also range from mild to moderate to extreme. It may be felt in one area or region of the body, or it may be a widespread pain that is felt across the entire body.

However, in medical terms, there are different types of pain, as the body processes them in different ways. This makes it important to properly define the exact kind of pain that is being experienced. This, in turn, helps a doctor or a physician to pinpoint the cause of the pain and suggest an appropriate type of treatment accordingly. Identifying the cause of pain in time can help to attend to the root of the problem and this will help you control and overcome the pain faster.

There are four major types of pain. These are:

  • Nociceptive Pain

Nociceptive pain, in medical terms, refers to the pain that one gets from physical damage or potential damage to the body. This type of pain is typically due to tissue injury. The most common types of nociceptive pain include the pain felt from a sports injury, mechanical back pain, pain felt after a dental procedure, post surgical pain or arthritis pain.

  • Inflammatory Pain

Inflammatory pain refers to the spontaneous hypersensitivity to pain which occurs as a response to tissue damage as well as inflammation. This is caused by an abnormal inflammation as a result of a response by the body’s immune system. This type of pain includes postoperative pain, trauma, rheumatoid arthritis and gout.

  • Neuropathic Pain

Neuropathic pain refers to the pain that is caused due to a damage or a disease which affects the somatosensory nervous system of the body. In other words, this type of pain is caused by nerve irritation. Neuropathic pain could well be linked to abnormal sensations (which are known as ‘dysesthesia’) or pain from stimuli which do not normally cause pain (this is known as ‘allodynia’).

  • Functional Pain

Functional pain refers to the pain whose origin is not obvious. When a person presents complaints of pain without any obvious or organic origin, they are said to be having functional pain. The precise diagnosis is derived from the organ system which is showing the symptoms, such as musculoskeletal pain in fibromyalgia or visceral pain in irritable bowel syndrome. 

Each of these four types of pain may occur individually or in combination with one another at the same time, causing a mixed pain pattern. There are, of course, various treatment methods applicable to suit the specific conditions of each pain type. 

Now that we have explored the various types of pain and their causes, we come to some of the many methods that may be used to treat pain.

  • Application of Oils and Balms

The application of Ayurvedic pain balm or Ayurvedic pain relief oil do help in providing relief to pains on the body. By massaging oils or balms, it helps the skin to absorb them easier, resulting in faster action, which speeds up pain relief. If you are looking for a pain relief oil in India, the good news is that the choices are plenty. Massaging an oil or a balm on oneself helps in the stimulation of blood flow, which is what helps in the process of relieving pain.

  • Bioelectric Therapy

Bioelectric therapy is a method used to relieve pain by blocking the ‘pain messages’ to the brain. This method also induces the body to produce endorphins, which are chemicals that reduce or eliminate sensations of pain. Endorphins are also released in the course of physical exercise. Bioelectric therapy can be used in the treatment of various chronic and acute pain-causing conditions, such as back pain, muscle pain, arthritis, diabetic neuropathy, scleroderma, headache as well as migraine. 

  • Exercise

Counterintuitive as it may sound, resting for too long may actually cause an increase in pain and cause a greater risk of injury when you start moving again. Even though resting for short periods of time is good for relieving pain, it has been shown that regular exercise helps to minimise pain in the long term because it improves muscle tone, strength as well as flexibility, as this article in WebMD discusses. Exercising also stimulates the release of endorphins, which are the human body’s natural pain killing mechanism.

  • Psychological Treatment

When people experience pain, feelings of anger, sadness, frustration, helplessness as well as despair are bound to happen. Pain has the capability to cause bad moods, change one’s personality, disrupt one’s sleep as well as the potential to damage relationships. This also often results in stress, depression and anxiety. Psychological treatment helps to improve the indirect consequences caused by pain by helping people acquire the skills to cope with pain and the problems it causes.

KMP Ayurvedic is proud to offer you a range of pain relief products, including Ayurvedic pain relief oils as well as balms to help alleviate pains you may be experiencing. Made with only the best quality ingredients, KMP Ayurvedic is committed to providing you with personal care products that are effective, natural and value for money.

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