The Different Types of Pain, Explained

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One of the reasons why it can be so difficult to understand pain is because there are many different types. The pain you are feeling could be very different from what your loved ones have experienced. By identifying your pain, you can work with a trauma treatment center to achieve healing. Let’s explore the different types of pain in more detail.

Acute Pain

Acute pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. It’s short-term pain that is generally resolved in 30 days or less, and it responds well to medication. Some of the most common forms of acute pain are aches and pains, pain following a surgical procedure or pain from an injury.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is not as simple and straightforward as acute pain, making it harder to diagnose and treat. The main difference between acute and chronic pain is that chronic pain lasts more than 12 weeks. Also, chronic pain often presents itself as a disease that affects all systems in the body. It may have no known origin, and opioid painkillers are not effective.

Psychological Pain

Emotional pain is mental suffering, and it refers to how much you hurt as a human being. People who experience chronic pain often have a combination of physical and emotional pain. They continually live with feelings of sadness, depression and guilt, and the brain ends up becoming dependent on them.

Nerve Pain

Nerve pain, or neuropathic pain, comes from the nerves. People describe this pain as burning, stabbing or stinging. Nerve pain is common in people who have diabetes, shingles, HIV or other nerve-related trauma. Treatments are available for nerve pain, but it can be difficult to get under control.

Back Pain

Back pain gets its own category because 80% of Americans suffer this pain at some point in their lives. While it does get better for some people, others live with chronic pain for the rest of their lives. Lower back pain negatively impacts quality of life as it makes it difficult for people to move, work and sleep.

Visceral and Somatic Pain

Visceral pain is felt in the gut and includes pain from appendicitis, gallstones or pelvic problems. It can be hard to determine where this pain is coming from, which is why people often say “stomach.” Somatic pain, on the other hand, does have a direct source. It often feels like cramping or gnawing at a specific point in the body.

Referred Pain

Referred pain occurs when part of the body causes pain in another. It can be confusing because the pain is in a different area. For example, if you have pancreatitis, referred pain occurs in the back. Or, some people who are having a heart attack may feel pain in their arm instead of their chest.

Bottom Line: All Pain is Real

As you can see, there are many different types of pain that manifest in unique ways. By acknowledging all forms of pain, we give truth and validation to people’s experiences. This, in itself, can make a huge difference for chronic pain patients.

If you or someone you love is need of chronic pain treatment in Agoura Hills, contact Awakenings Treatment Center. We have a Complex Pain Recovery Program that helps people with chronic pain achieve healing.