Being a triggered and communicated response by the nervous system to a sudden onset of pain somewhere in the body. In most instances acute pain disappears when the original cause has healed sufficiently, although there are circumstances when pain is more severe, where it can last for weeks or months. In some such cases if left untreated, the pain could become chronic.
Pain is classified as chronic when it lasts for longer than six months. Left
untreated chronic pain becomes worse, because the nerve fibre’s, which transmit the pain signals from the brain, are trying to get your attention. Long-term this is counterproductive, because if you ignore the pain signals, the pain intensity actually increases more than is necessary.
General Somatic Pain
Pain caused by your bodies reaction to an external stimulus, such as a physical injury like a knock, or a reaction to a chemical irritant. Somatic pain usually improves within a few days, however in the case of chronic back pain, or fibromyalgia these ailments can also fall into the somatic pain category, causing on-going and recurring pain, which should ideally be treated with anti-inflammatory medicines.
Visceral pain is the term used to describe discomfort caused by the internal organs. This type of pain can be difficult to determine, because the connections between the pain sensors in the internal organs and the brain, do not work as effectively as the nerves in the outer body. A lot of people will have experienced a mild form of this pain if they have ever suffered from acid indigestion, which is common and easy to treat using non-prescription, over the counter medications. A more serious form of visceral pain for example would be chronic pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas and would require treatment immediately.
Temporary bone pain can be caused by arthritis, growing pains in children and teenagers, or by a fractured or bruised bone, which is usually accompanied by a throbbing sensation. Long-term bone pain may also be a symptom of someone suffering from bone cancer, osteoporosis, osteomyelitis or adult arthritis. In cases such as these, it may be necessary for individuals to receive long-term pain treatment.
Muscle spasms and cramps can cause severe pain in the body. These spasms may require muscle relaxants and pain medication in combination to relieve muscle tension.
Peripheral neuropathy is caused by damage or disease to the peripheral nervous system. Information is carried by the nerves to and from the brain and spinal cord (the central nervous system), to every other part of the body. If these nerves are damaged they can’t send the correct signals and the nerves in certain areas of the body may become abnormally sensitive, leading to an increase in pain and an inability to control muscles. The side effects of this can also be a sensation similar to that of pins and needles, or pain may occur in response to a stimulus that does not normally provoke pain.
Severe symptoms may include burning pain (especially at night), stabbing pains, muscle wastage and on occasion some form of paralysis. This kind of nerve pain can be treated using tricyclic antidepressants. More severe nerve pain such as sharp and stabbing pains is sometimes treated with anticonvulsants.
Headaches exist in many forms and often occur as a result of numerous illnesses, but they may also be a symptom of long-term stress or general tiredness. Types of headaches range from migraines and tension headaches through to cluster headaches. Recommended treatment will depend completely on the kind of headache and the severity of the pain experienced by each person.
A GP or health care provider will prescribe medications such as short or long-acting pain medication to keep pain under control. We know these drugs are extremely effective for many, but regrettably for others there are side effects.
Counselling & Psychotherapy, sometimes in conjunction with Hypnotherapy are alternative treatments for pain management having been medically proven to give natural, safe pain relief without any unwanted side effects, when used as stand alone therapies, or alongside prescribed medication.