Frequently Asked Questions: Understanding Your Pain Condition
What is my condition, and how is it classified?
The Pain Management Centers of New England and Pain Modulation Associates – two practices dedicated to restoring patient quality of life through the offering of comprehensive pain diagnosis and treatment services – discuss common pain conditions and pain problems.
Put simply, pain is a sensation of discomfort. The degree of pain experienced and its duration varies from case to case. For some, pain may be brief in nature and tolerable whereas for others, discomfort may be chronic and debilitating. To identify the cause or condition resulting in acute or chronic pain, the pain management physicians of our state-of-the-art pain management center begin treatment with an in depth pain assessment, starting with the evaluation of the answers to the following questions:
When and why did your pain start?
How would you describe your pain sensation? Is it sharp in quality, burning, tingling, or aching? Does your pain increase with touch? Is it brief in nature or ongoing? Is your pain tolerable or debilitating?
How often does the pain occur? How long has it endured?
Are there particular activities that increase or decrease the level of pain experienced?
Is the pain accompanied by a feeling of numbness or weakness?
Has there been any change in bladder or bowel function since the onset of your pain?
Would you describe your pain as localized or widespread?
Have the activities of daily living been affected by your pain?
The conditions causing pain are wide ranging, but in general, pain can be classified as either nociceptive or non-nociceptive.
Nociceptive Pain is the result of the stimulation of a pain receptor and is either labeled as somatic – pain that originates from the skin, muscles, joints, bones, and ligaments – or visceral – pain that comes from an organ. How do patients tell the difference? Somatic pain typically is sharp in quality and is localized around the source of injury. Visceral pain is harder to pin-point and is often described as a deep aching or cramping discomfort.
Non-nociceptive Pain is the result of a damaged or inflamed nerve. In such instances, the nerve transmits abnormal signals to the brain which are then interpreted as pain. Patients with neuropathic or sympathetic non-nociceptive pain typically experience a burning, tingling, or shooting sensation and are often hypersensitive to touch.
Pain Management & Treatment: An Individualized Approach to Care
Pain and its cause are unique to each patient and as such, demands personalized and attentive care from pain management physicians. Find just this at Pain Management Centers of New England and Pain Modulation Associates. Whether your pain is acute or chronic, nociceptive or non-nociceptive, our staff comprised of board-certified doctors, specialists, and nurses, along with our outstanding network of healthcare providers is here to help patients living in the Merrimack Valley region of Massachusetts, Southern New Hampshire and Boston's North Shore and Cape Ann find relief from their debilitating discomfort.