Are there different types of pain?

It is very important to discover what sort of pain you are suffering from, because this may affect the type of treatment you need. At your first visit, the pain management specialist will determine what type of pain, or combination of types, you are suffering from, so that you can be given the right kind of treatment. Pain can generally be divided into five types:

  1. Nociceptive Pain, which is due to tissue damage, such as a sprained ankle
  2. Neuropathic Pain, which may be due to a damaged nerve
  3. Visceral Pain, which may be due to things like appendicitis
  4. Vascular Pain, which may be due to a disease of the blood vessels
  5. Cancer Pain, which may be due to a tumour growing into the tissues

Pain can also be split up into acute and chronic.

  • Acute pain is the kind you feel, for example, immediately after you sprain your ankle. If the pain in your ankle persists for over three months, it becomes chronic pain.
  • This distinction is very important, since chronic pain can have all kinds of effects on your quality of life, and can lead to problems such as anxiety and depression, which in turn may make the pain worse.
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