How Many Types of Pain in Human Body?

Definition of Pain in the Human Body:

Pain is highly unpleasant sensory or emotional feelings associated with actual or potential tissue damage. The sensation of pain is a normal response to injury or disease in the human body.  Pain has both physical and emotional components. The physical part of pain results from damaged nerve stimulation. The emotional part results from attitudes, beliefs, personality, and social factors. Pain is a warning signal for the human body and it has a biologically protective function.

Pain types in human body
Fig: Pain types in the human body

What are the Different Types of Pain in the Human Body?

Pain is a multidimensional phenomenon with physiological, emotional, behavioral, and spiritual components.  It has multiple causes, and people respond to it in different and individual ways.  The experience of pain varies from one person to another person, even though it is possible to categorize the different types of pain. The common types of pain in the human body includes-

1. According to Time:

a. Acute Pain:

It occurs abruptly after a sudden onset of injury or disease. Persists until healing and often is intensified by anxiety or fear. Examples- bone fractures, burns, surgery, sickle cell crisis, tension headache, delivery.

b. Chronic Pain:

Chronic pain is that pain that is ongoing and usually lasts longer than six months. It cannot amenable to a specific treatment. Chronic pain is usually associated with an underlying cause.

Chronic pain is also two types-

  1. Chronic nociceptive pain such as prolong tissue pathology (cancer), stable angina, gastritis, pancreatic, gout, headache.
  2. Chronic neuropathic pain such as nerve pain (abnormalities in the PNS or CNS), low back pain, diabetic neuropathy, fibromyalgia pain, arthritis.

2. According to Pathophysiology:

a. Nociceptive Pain:

Nociceptive pain is caused by the stimulation of sensory nerve fibers that arise from damaged tissue. Nociceptive pain in the human body is usually time-limited, meaning when the damaged tissue heals, the pain typically resolves. Nociceptive pain feelings typically change with physical movement, position, and load and resulting from activation of primary afferent nociceptors by mechanical” (e.g. crushing, tearing, shearing, etc.), thermal (e.g. heat or cold), or chemical stimuli (e.g. iodine in a cut or chemicals released during inflammation).

b. Neuropathic Pain:

The neuropathic pain starts in the human body when the peripheral nervous or central nervous system is damaged or not working properly due to disease or injury such as diabetes, stroke, cancer, amputation.

3. According to the Origin:

  1. Superficial pain: originate in the skin and subcutaneous tissue.
  2. Deep somatic pain: Pains arise from ligament, tendon, blood vessels, etc.
  3. Visceral pain: stimulation pain receptor in the abdominal cavity, cranium, and thorax.

4. According to where It Feels in the Human Body:

  1. Radiating pain,
  2. Referred pain,
  3. Phantom pain,
  4. Shifting pain.

Factors Influence the Perception of Pain in the Human Body:

Some key factors influence the perception of pain in the human body. Those are in the following:

1. Physical Factors:

Many physical factors influence the pain experience, including the individual’s pain threshold, pain tolerance, age, physical activities, and nervous system integrity.

2. Psychological Factors:

Along with physical factors, several psychological factors can influence the response to pain, including culture, religion, past experiences with pain, anxiety, and situation factors.

Methods of Pain Assessment in Human Body:

Pain is both a sensory and emotional experience, using several assessment strategies provides quality and quantitative information of pain.

 QUEST is the best way to assess the pain of the human body. QUEST stands for-

  • Q- Question the patient.
  • U-Use a pain rating scale.
  • E- Evaluate the behavior and physiological changes.
  • S- Set Realistic Pain Relief Goals and ensure patient involvement.
  • T-Take cause of pain into account and take action according to the severity of pain and evaluate results properly.

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