“Pain” can be defined as certain signals that our receptor system sends to our central nervous system, which is responsible for interpreting those signals, and investigate the solution to soothe the pain.
Depending on the problem we are suffering at a certain time, whether due to external causes or internal to our body, the signs in each case are different and serve as a warning to our brain, so it can generate an answer to resolve the problem which is affecting us.
These signs, vary depending on the type of pain and its cause, so with a certain signal, our central nervous system knows how to decipher the cause of the problem and find an adequate solution for the moment.
We are going to analyze which are those pain symptoms, and what kinds exist.
Signs and Symptoms of Pain
Maybe we have ever asked ourselves: why do we suffer pain? What would happen if we did not feel pain or did not have these receptors in our body? Can we control the pain?
There are notable cases of individuals who are able to control, or test their maximum pain capacity, by performing different practices. These are exceptional cases and are risky actions, which endanger our physical integrity and even our lives.
There is certainly a function for pain and the receptors we have in our body: protect ourselves and keep us alive.
The pain receptors or sensors, act as a warning, which indicates to our central nervous system that we are in a situation that puts our lives in danger, or that there is something wrong with our biological system.
If we did not have these receptors in our body, we would not realize that our life is in danger in certain situations or due to certain problems.
We can put an extreme case as an example. Throughout our body, in our skin, we have sensors that are sensitive to temperatures. If we did not have these receptors, we could, for example, burn ourselves if we touch fire. We would not feel the pain, nor the heat, nor the ardor, however, we would be burned alive.
That is the function that pain sensors perform in our body.
Pain signal classification
To be able to classify pain signals, we have to know that there are two types of signals or categories: Symptoms and Clinical signs.
The difference between a symptom and a clinical sign is that the clinical sign is an evident manifestation and consequent to a disease or alteration of health, which is, a variation in the biology of a sick person that can be noticed, either from a physical or psychological form.
This serves as a source of research by a medical professional, and the performance of psychophysical exams, in order to determine from the patient the possible alterations in their general health.
On the other hand, the symptoms are also perceptions in the biological alterations of a person, nevertheless, these are only perceived by the patient or person who suffers them, the reason why they are subjective, not conclusive elements, for the study of a clinical suffering.
Examples of clinical signs
- Redness of certain parts of the body
- Skin allergies
Examples of pain symptoms
- Shaking chills
- Some types of pain
Types of Pain
We can also divide the types of pain we can suffer, and classify them taking into account five categories or classifications that will help us determine the origin and intensity of the pain.
These categories are:
- Depending on the duration
- Depending on the source of the pain
- Depending on the pathogenesis
- Depending on the intensity
- Unclassified pains
Each of these categories is sub-divided into characteristics that can identify a certain type of pain, depending on what area it originates, how it originates, the duration, among other things, this will also mark the path to follow when choosing a pain treatment.
If you need to know more about different pain classifications please refer to Types of Pain.