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Pain Management Center

Pain

Pain
Pain is one of the most common human experiences which is subjective and highly individualized. Yet pain has never been fully accepted as a medical problem. One reason may be it is difficult to measure. Nevertheless, chronic pain affects more than 70 million Americans.

What is pain?
Pain is the body's way of sending a warning to the brain that something is wrong. We feel pain when messages, carried by chemicals called neurotransmitters, travel from the nerves along the spinal cord to the brain. In the brain, these pain messages are then inter-related with thoughts, emotions and expectations that shape our interpretation and response to pain.

What is pain management?
Pain management is a branch of medicine that applies science to the reduction of pain. Pain management specialists take a multi-disciplinary approach to treating all kinds of pain, as pain management covers a wide spectrum of conditions (neuropathic pain, sciatica, postoperative pain and more). Pain management can be simple or complex, depending on the cause of the pain.

Types of pain
Doctors and specialists use scientific terms for pain in order to identify where pain occurs and how to begin diagnosis and treatment. The pain types of pain are clinically described as either:

  1. Nociceptive pain – Nociceptive pain is pain caused by tissue damage in the skin, muscles, bone or internal organs. (ex. joint pain caused by arthritis)

  2. Neuropathic pain - This type of pain involves the nerve cells that transmit pain messages to the brain. Pain occurs because either the nerves themselves are damaged or because they are not functioning properly and are sending out persistent messages.

Doctors also like to specify types of pain by location or cause in the body. There are many kinds of pain that can be described as acute or chronic. But what is the anatomy of pain and why do we experience it? Read on for more information about who is most likely to experience pain, and what causes chronic pain here.

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