healthcare professionals

Pain relief

Pain is defined as:

An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage.”

In recent times, the concept of pain has evolved from one dimensional to a multi-dimensional entity involving sensory, cognitive, motivational, and affective qualities. Pain is always subjective and every individual use this word through their previous experience related to the injury.

According to the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), pain can be classified based on the region of the body involved (e.g., head, visceral), the pattern of occurrence’s duration (acute and chronic), or the system whose dysfunction may cause the pain (e.g., gastrointestinal, nervous). It is suggested for pain to be classified based on only three characteristics: symptoms, mechanisms and syndromes. Both the Central Nervous System (CNS) and Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) are involved in the mechanism and pathways of all variations of pain perception. The CNS is composed of the spinal cord and the brain, which is mainly responsible for integrating and interpreting the information sent from the PNS, and subsequently coordinating all the activities in our bodies, before sending the response towards the effector organs. The PNS comprises nerves and ganglia that are located outside the brain and spinal cord, mainly functioning to connect the CNS to organs and limbs in our body.

There are two types of pain: acute and chronic. Acute pain usually comes on suddenly, because of a disease, injury, or inflammation. It can often be diagnosed and treated. It usually goes away, though sometimes it can turn into chronic pain. Chronic pain lasts for a long time, and can cause severe problems.

Pain is not always curable, but there are many ways to treat it. Treatment depends on the cause and type of pain. There are drug treatments, including pain relievers. There are also non-drug treatments, such as heat patches, acupuncture, physical therapy, and sometimes surgery.

 

References

Burket LW, Greenberg MS, Glick M. Burkett’s Textbook of Oral Medicine. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott.

Hanoch Kumar K, Elavarasi P. Definition of pain and classification of pain disorders. Journal of Advanced Clinical & Research Insights (2016), 3, 87–90.

Yam MF, Loh YC, Tan CS, Khadijah Adam S, Abdul Manan N and Basir R. General Pathways of Pain Sensation and the Major Neurotransmitters Involved in Pain Regulation – Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018 Jul 24;19(8).

Woolf, C.J.; Bennett, G.J.; Doherty, M.; Dubner, R.; Kidd, B.; Koltzenburg, M.; Lipton, R.; Loeser, J.D.; Payne, R.; Torebjork, E. Towards a mechanism-based classification of pain? Pain 1998, 77, 227–229.