Pain is an unpleasant experience, which may be a sensory or emotional experience resulting from damage to various body tissues.
We all consider pain as an indication of a disease, which is what usually motivates us to go to the doctor, meaning that pain is the most common reason to go to the doctor for treatment.
Pain has an important function, which is to protect the body and maintain the balance of the various body systems, where pain works to distinguish and locate the processes that cause damage to the body’s tissues, with the aim of stopping the sensation of pain, and stopping the processes that cause pain and damage to the body.
Acute pain causes reactions in the body such as behavioral alert, a reaction that indicates the presence of stress or stress, which includes an increase in blood pressure, an increase in heart rate, widening of the eyes, and the secretion of the hormone cortisone in large quantities, and the feeling of acute pain is usually accompanied by a contraction in the limb who suffers pain.
How does the feeling of pain arise?
The nerve endings in the skin transmit various information to the central nervous system when a chemical, thermal, or mechanical stimulus occurs.
When the external stimulus is strong, these nerve endings transmit the feeling of pain to the brain according to the following path: a stimulus, then the nerve end, then the spinal cord, then the brain.
The deep tissues of the body and internal organs are affected by nerve terminals that respond to mechanical stimuli, unlike the skin, which is affected by nerve terminals that respond to various stimuli. The mechanical stimulus in the internal organs and deep tissues of the body is acutely activated when inflammation is present.
The automatic stimulus releases different mediators that activate the signaling cascade, which makes the nerves more sensitive to receiving the automatic stimulus.
types of pain
There are two main types of pain:
1. Acute pain
This type of pain is generally severe and short in duration, and the pain here is the way the body alerts the person to exposure to injury, or local tissue damage.
Treating the underlying injury usually resolves acute pain.
2. Chronic pain
This type of pain lasts much longer than acute pain, and there is often no cure.
Chronic pain can be mild or severe, and it can also be continuous, as in arthritis, or intermittent, as with migraines.
There are some symptoms that accompany pain, which are as follows:
Flu-like symptoms, such as: fever, chills, fatigue, headache, and sore throat.
Unexpected weight loss.
Causes and risk factors for pain
In some cases, it is clear that the cause of the pain is an injury or a medical condition, while in other cases the cause of the pain may be less clear or unknown.
Among the main causes of pain:
Chronic and recurrent pain may cause the following complications:
Thinking of suicide.
The patient determines the degree of pain himself, which makes the process of assessing the severity of pain completely subjective.
There are other methods for determining the degree of pain, and these methods are based on patient observation, but these methods are rarely used.
Self-assessment of pain is based on the patient observing the pain he feels over a period of time, and comparing its intensity with previous periods of time. So much so that the patient does not feel his presence, while a maximum score of 10 indicates very severe pain, which cannot be tolerated.
The doctor may order some tests to diagnose the cause of the pain, most notably:
Blood, urine, and stool tests: To make sure you don’t catch a painful infection.
Endoscopic examinations: to detect signs of problems in the respiratory system, urinary system, or reproductive system.
Imaging tests: such as: computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging.
Biopsy: A sample is taken from the affected organ.
Nerve function tests: They help make sure that the nerves are doing their job or not
Psychological examinations: to confirm the presence of depression in the patient.
Treatment varies according to the type of pain and its severity, as follows:
1. Acute pain treatment
The best treatments available are those that remove the pain-causing factor and stop the damage it causes to the tissues, but it is worth mentioning here that often the pain does not go away immediately when the causative or stimulating factor is gone.
In some cases that cause severe pain, such as: burns, cancer, and various wounds, the following pain relief methods are used:
Such as: aspirin, acetaminophen, and a group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), as these drugs slow down the enzyme associated with the signaling chain that causes pain, thus reducing or stopping the pain.
These medications are approved to treat headaches, and pain that comes from muscle or bone mass.
The side effects of these drugs are the occurrence of heartburn, and causing an imbalance in the work of the kidneys.
This drug family is considered the most powerful pain relievers. As for the side effects that may arise when using these drugs, their symptoms are very dangerous and may lead to weakening the respiratory system, but the use of these drugs is considered safe, as with their high ability to relieve pain, any of the damages can be stopped. Side effects that may arise from the use of naloxone, which neutralizes the effect of the analgesic drug.
The mechanism of action of these opioid drugs differs from previous analgesics, as they do not slow down the enzymes that transmit pain signals to the nervous system, but rather activate nerve cells, and they slow or reduce the process of transmitting pain to the nervous system.
Other side effects may appear when using the medicines belonging to this group, such as: nausea, the occurrence of cases of constipation, and a feeling of numbness.
It has been found that pharmacological drugs approved for treating depression are also effective in stopping pain that originates in the nerves, but the use of these types of drugs is known to have side effects such as increased appetite, and various other effects on the central nervous system.
Patient-controlled analgesia (PCA)
A device by which opium is injected into the patient’s body in a way that gives him control over the analgesic. This method is usually used after surgical operations, and in the treatment of cancer cases.
2. Treatment of chronic pain conditions
Treating chronic pain conditions is challenging and challenging.
In many of these cases, there is difficulty in diagnosing the source of the pain, and then a careful search process is initiated to identify the source of the pain without reaching the knowledge of the cause, and this condition causes the patient a lot of suffering after the constant feeling of pain for a long time.
There are also cases in which the pain stems from chronic diseases that have no definitive treatment, for example: cancer, migraine, tissue and muscle pain known as fibromyalgia, physical therapy, diabetes, and other diseases.
When treating people with chronic pain, it is necessary to distinguish and diagnose whether the chronic pain causes the patient emotional imbalance, such as depression, loss of appetite, change in sleep style, and other similar phenomena.
It is also necessary to treat chronic pain conditions to focus on improving the patient’s quality of life. Some goals must be planned, such as:
Improve sleep quality.
Go out for a walk.
Trying to get back to work.
Restore the ability to focus.
Treatment in this case consists of several therapeutic methods, including drug therapy, medical consultation, therapeutic rehabilitation, nerve root block, biofeedback, receiving an external electrical stimulator, and sometimes some surgeries are required.
To receive advice and treatment for chronic pain, you must go to a clinic that specializes in this type of permanent pain.
Pain is a widespread phenomenon in our daily life, and it is possible to be certain that it is a phenomenon that accompanies us for life. Acute pain is a warning, and we must pay attention to it and pay attention to investigating its cause. As for the phenomenon of chronic pain, it is a phenomenon that requires a combination of different treatment methods and patience.