Within the pain classifications are the pain types. Understanding the types of pain make it possible to effectively provide pain management, natural pain relief, chronic pain relief.
Types of pain can be distinguished by where the nociceptors originate the pain message. There are five basic types.
Cutaneous pain refers to the pain felt in the skin. There are numerous nociceptors just under the skin and they can in most cases produce a specific feeling in the specific area of the skin. It is usually of short duration and related to the healing.
Of the typical types of pain, this relates to the injury. It could be caused by a splinter, minor cuts, lacerations, minor bruises, and minor burns.
Burns that go deep enough to affect the nociceptors also eliminate the pain. So sometimes it is considered a good sign if there is pain when a burn patient is received in the hospital.
Another type of pain in the cutaneous category, although originating in the skin is much more difficult to distinguish or define. It is the pain related to fungal and or bacterial infections in the skin.
Pains are varied and may be described as a number of different pains all at the same time.
For instance it might be described as a feeling like a burning and at the same time like thousands of pins are pricking the skin at the same time.
All of these descriptions give clues as to how to help the healing.
Somatic is the pain originating from deeper tissues like ligaments, tendons, bones.
Since there are fewer pain receptors than in the skin the pain is usually described as dull and localized. Examples would include sprains, strains and broken bones.
Among the most difficult to cope with are the Somatic pain in the face and jaw associated with trigeminal neuralgia and TMJ or Costen's Syndrome.
The somatic pain can even come from the nerves themselves.
Visceral pain is referring to pain originating in the organs. Organs have their own pain nociceptors. These are also in the cavities of the body that hold the organs.
Of the different types of pain, this is more of an aching pain in most cases and last longer than the somatic pain.
A peculiar quality of visceral pain is that it is hard to identify the area it is originating from.
For instance, a heart attack and the resulting pain that is being transduced from the heart (source of the pain) nociceptors is many times felt as jaw pain, shoulder, left arm, jaw pain or even nausea.
One of the most basic symptoms of an impending aneurysm that might be located near the heart is sudden unexplained nausea and dizziness.
Neuropathic pain is the result of injury or disease to the actual nerves. More than any other, this fits the definition of disease of pain.
Some neuropathic pain is the result of a disease process such as diabetic neuropathy.
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This is the pain felt when a person although having had an amputation feels the pain although there are no pain nerves to actually send the pain message.
The above outlines the commonalities with types of pain from the curative point of view. They are all the result of nerve transduction, transmission, modulation and perception.
These are all nerve actions and functions. The traditional means of treating will be discussed next. Medicines from aspirin to narcotics will be discussed.
All turn off or slow down the flow of pain. One theory, the gate theory of pain theorizes pain flows like water. It is easier to close and keep the gate closed when the flow is low. Once the flow is high, it is much harder to close the gate.
This is why it is important to have the right pain medicine when treating pain.
Again, it has to do with shutting down or limiting the pain transduction, transmission, modulation, and perception.
At the beginning we asked the question...
What if there were a way to...
1) Heal the tissue faster and eliminate the cause of the pain transduction?
2) Heal the infection or inflammation faster and eliminate the transduction?
3) Heal the neurological tissues that might misfire or wrongly transmit the pain?
4) Boost the neurological ability to enhance the modulation and perception?
If this was possible, it would seem it could be a radically new way to treat pain.
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