What is Pain?

According to the IASP (International Association for the Study of Pain) defines its meaning as “unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage“.

Pain can be described as an unpleasant feeling, can be expressed as bodily, mental or emotional suffering. Goes through a specific reaction results from nerve stimulation that warns or prevent us from getting hurt or more generalize due to tissue injury or long-term disease or disorders.

Also, can work as a warning signal to alert or prevent something is not fine with your body or as a protective mechanism that alerts your brain when damage has occurred to your body.

Even neuroscientist, cannot talk about pain without being imprecise because each people has a different response and scale of pain. People can respond or express same emotion, injury or sensation in many different ways.

Causes of pain can mostly vary from physical, emotional or mental but we can also say that all of them can be related to each other.

We can distinguish the physical pain as a reaction or discomfort that can occur after an injury for example: doing exercise, burning a finger while cooking, hitting ourselves or breaking an arm. This makes our body reacts and even produce impossibility for doing our daily routines due to a big annoyance/pain.

The emotional pain can be associated more with a feeling/emotion after feeling disappointed, going through the loss of a loved one or even after receiving an insult. Basically, feelings that we can categorize as negative and can end up having an emotional root and becoming physical.

Mental pain is directly related to stress and depression. It has more a psychological origin and it is difficult to get a diagnose quickly because is not something that we can ” touch” and be treated fast, involves an individual awareness that something is not right with our brain and how we talk to ourselves.

Acute pain is like the first stage of pain or common one. It is related to physical pain like inflammatory tissue or any kind of injury and more importantly, for a short period of time.

It usually goes away when the injury has healed or the pain source removed. It works as a preventing system from getting hurt or burned for example.

Chronic pain involves a change in the nervous system due to body response during a long time stimulation/exposure to acute pain. When acute pain persists it usually develops in chronic pain. It is defined as any pain that lasts for 3 to 6 months or more.

It could start with a health condition or injury such a degenerative disease, cancer, surgery, nerve damage and many more. All aspects of pain can have whether alternative or drugs treatment.

By alternative treatment, options can be herbal therapies, yoga, massage, chiropractic, acupuncture or exercise and of course keep a healthy diet.

Furthermore, by drug treatment, Nonopioid analgesics is usually the first option to treat minor pain, it goes from over the counter medications ( ibuprofen, aspirin) to prescribed ones.

Narcotic analgesics like methadone, morphine or codeine must be prescribed and used for severe pain only.

Of course, both treatments can be combined to manage pain effectively or have better results.

Read more about Pain Types and how they affect our health and our day to day living.

References: