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6 Main Types of Chronic Pain

By January 12, 2022 - 12:46am

Everyone gets aches and pains from time to time. In truth, acute pain is a crucial nervous system reaction that helps to alert you of potential damage. When you have an injury, pain impulses go up your spinal cord and into your brain.

As the damage heals, the pain will normally lessen. Chronic pain, on the other hand, is not the same as ordinary pain. Even after an injury heals, your body continues to send pain signals to your brain if you have chronic pain. This can last anywhere from a few weeks to several years. Chronic pain can diminish your flexibility, strength, and endurance, as well as limit your mobility. This may make it difficult to do daily jobs and activities.

Chronic pain is pain that lasts for more than 12 weeks. The pain might be intense or dull, and it can feel like it's burning or aching in the affected areas. It could be constant or intermittent, appearing and disappearing for no apparent reason. Chronic pain can strike almost any part of the body. In the many affected locations, the pain can feel different.

Given that chronic pain can occur anywhere, doctors distinguish 6 types of pain:

1. Idiopathic pain
Idiopathic pain is a type of pain that occurs for no known physical or psychological reason. Idiopathic pain can’t be traced back to a nociceptive, neuropathic or psychogenic cause. Though the root cause of the pain might not be detected with current medical knowledge, it is still actually real.

Idiopathic pain is more common in people who suffer from TMJ disorder and fibromyalgia. Since there is no obvious cause of idiopathic pain, it’s often hard to treat.

2. Psychogenic pain
Pain produced by a psychiatric disorder, such as sadness or anxiety, is referred to as psychogenic pain. Physical symptoms of many psychological diseases include weariness and muscle aches and pains. Psychogenic pain is more difficult to treat than nociceptive or neuropathic pain since it usually has no physical basis.

Psychogenic pain exists, and it may necessitate a different treatment approach than other types of physical pain. Non-pharmaceutical pain treatments are typically more effective than standard painkillers when paired with antidepressants or other psychological drugs.

3. Somatic Pain
Nociceptive pain is a type of somatic pain. Sensory nerves in the muscles, skin and soft tissues can produce pain, which is referred to as somatic pain.

When you have somatic pain, nociceptors send pain signals to the spinal cord and brain, which the brain interprets. Because sensory nerves are well-distributed throughout the soft tissue, this sort of discomfort is generally easy to find.

Examples of somatic pain include tension headaches pelvic pain caused by joint instability, arthritis, bone fracture, and back pain that’s not provoked by nerve issues.

4. Neuropathic pain
Neuropathic pain also stems from nerve issues, however, it’s different to nociceptive pain in that the nerves are often not functioning properly.

Nerve abnormalities and spontaneous transmission of pain signals to the spinal cord and brain create neuropathic pain. Sharp, stabbing, shooting, searing, or electrical pain are all terms used to characterize neuropathic pain.

Nerve irritation, nerve injury, or the creation of a neuroma are all possible causes of neuropathic pain. Neuropathic pain involves peripheral neuropathy (for example, diabetic neuropathy), post-mastectomy pain, and sciatica.

5. Nociceptive pain
Nociceptive pain is pain that is detected by specialized sensory nerves in the body's soft tissues (such as muscles and skin) or organs. Nociceptors sense painful events and convey data to the brain and spinal cord for interpretation and response.

Nociceptive pain can be either somatic or visceral. Examples of nociceptive pain include headaches, pelvic pain that doesn’t stem from nerve damage, arthritis, and fibromyalgia.

6. Visceral pain
Visceral pain is a kind of nociceptive pain as well. Pain felt by nociceptors in the body's interior organs is referred to as visceral pain. Visceral pain is sensed by sensory nerves and conveyed to the spinal cord and brain for interpretation, just as somatic pain.

Sensory nerves in the internal organs are less common than in the muscles and skin of the body. Visceral pain can become dull and difficult to pinpoint as a result of this. Visceral pain, unlike somatic pain, can be felt far away from its source.

Some examples of visceral pain include endometriosis, irritable bowel syndrome, bladder pain (like cystitis), and prostate pain

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