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What are the Different Types and Causes of Pain? Why Do We Feel Pain?

Why Do We Feel Pain?

The pain scale.Pain signals are transmitted from the origin of the pain directly to the spinal cord and the spine's peripheral nerves. From there, pain signals travel rapidly to the brain and specifically, to the thalamus. Pain signal transmission rates depend on the severity of trauma or disease. For example, falling down the stairs and fracturing your ankle will send an instant pain signal to the thalamus. Alternately, you may not feel pain right away if you bump your hip against a table because the pain from bruising requires inflammation to affect soft tissues and nerves.

After the thalamus receives and interprets pain signals, it forwards pain messages to areas of the brain responsible for attention, emotion, and memory. This is how we learn to remember and avoid situations and objects we know may cause us physical pain.

3 Types of Pain

Nociceptive Pain

When pain receptors found at the end of nerves become irritated, injured or damaged by disease, you experience a surface or deep tissue pain called nociceptive pain. This type of pain is divided into two categories: somatic and visceral pain. Examples of somatic pain include bruises, broken bones, sprains and burns. Arthritic inflammation is also an example of nociceptive pain.

Visceral Pain

When you feel pain due to organ injury or damage to soft tissues supporting organs, your doctor calls this visceral pain. Only structures within your body can suffer visceral pain. Diagnosing and pinpointing the source of visceral pain is sometimes difficult because it is internal pain. Imaging scans and tests may be necessary to discover exactly where visceral pain originates.

Somatic Pain

When nerve pain receptors in the connective tissues, joints, muscles, and skin are activated by strong vibrations/forces, extreme temperatures or inflammation, you will feel various degrees of pain. Somatic pain examples include cramping, aching and sharp, stabbing pains. Usually localized, somatic pain is constant and may worsen when you move the affected area.

What is Neuropathic Pain?

Many residents of Marrero, Metairie, and Covington, LA visit the Southern Pain Clinic for management and treatment of neuropathic pain. Resulting from nerve damage or a disorder/disease of the nervous system, neuropathic pain is often a severe type of burning, shooting pain that does not respond to over-the-counter or prescription pain medications.

Examples of neuropathic pain include:

  • Complex regional pain syndrome

     

  • Fibromyalgia

     

  • Irritable bowel syndrome

     

  • Diabetic neuropathy

     

  • Spinal nerve compression

     

  • Herniated/bulging discs

     

  • Interstitial cystitis (painful bladder syndrome)

     

  • Degenerative disc disorders

     

Like visceral pain, neuropathic pain is often difficult to treat. At the Southern Pain Clinic, we help people suffering neuropathic pain successfully manage their pain through a variety of effective treatment methods ranging from diagnostic nerve blocks, epidural steroid injections and implanted drug delivery system therapy.

Spinal Cord Stimulators Relieve Neuropathic Pain

A powerful tool used to treat neuropathic pain at the Southern Pain Clinic in Covington, Metairie, and Marrero, LA is the spinal cord stimulator. By delivering safe, therapeutic electrical energy into your spine, the spinal cord stimulator, pain signals are prevented from reaching the brain and thalamus without drugs or surgery.

There is no reason for you to suffer from any type of pain. Call the Southern Pain Clinic to schedule an appointment and start managing your pain today.

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