What is pain?

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Pain is a term that describes an uncomfortable sensation in the body. This sensation typically starts from the activation of the nervous system. Take note that it can range from an annoyance to a debilitating feeling and it can feel dull, sharp, stabbing or ache. Pain can be described as stinging, throbbing, pinching and sore. In most cases, it can be consistent, can appear only under certain conditions or can start and stop abruptly. How people respond to the sensation tends to vary. Some have a high tolerance level while others have low tolerance. With this in mind, it is considered highly subjective.

Pain can be acute or chronic.

Pain can be acute or chronic. When it comes to acute pain, it can be caused by a specific injury or issue. As for chronic pain, it can last for more than 3 months. It can be localized, general or affecting only a specific part of the body.

Causes of pain

• Headache
• Cuts
• Cramps
Muscle overuse or strain
• Bone fractures
• Arthritis
• Stomach ache

Majority of disorders and illnesses such as fibromyalgia, flu and reproductive issues can cause pain. Some individuals can experience other symptoms along with pain. These typically include dizziness, nausea, fatigue, anger, depression and loss of appetite.

When to consult a doctor

It is important to seek medical attention for the following cases:

• Due to an injury or accident particularly in cases where there is the risk of infection, bleeding or broken bones as well as head injuries.
• Internal pain is sharp and acute
• The pain is in the chest
• The sensation disrupts your daily activities or making sleep difficult

How pain is diagnosed

Upon consulting a doctor, a physical examination is performed. Just be prepared to discuss the pain in specific terms, including when it started, when it is intense, and if it is mild, moderate or severe. Triggers will also be determined, how it affects life and any medications taken. Make sure that more information is provided so that your doctor can provide a better diagnosis.

Treatment for pain

Acute pain can go away on its own once the cause  has been treated. The injury can heal naturally over time or medications or surgery can be provided. The first aid for acute cases depends on the injury or issues that causes the pain.

As for chronic cases, it is more difficult to deal with especially in cases in which the cause  is unknown. Oftentimes, chronic pain is due to an injury, but it is not always the case. The best way to minimize the pain is to deal with the underlying issue. The treatment plans include:

• Prescription pain medications
• Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen and aspirin
• Massage
• Physical therapy
• Acupuncture
• Surgery
• Yoga
• Heating pads or heat baths
• Biofeedback
• Cold pack or ice baths
• Guided imagery
• Progressive muscle relaxation

For minor injuries that do not require medical care, all you have to do is to follow the general rule of RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation).

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