Pain Management Basics
Pain Management Basics
Marc Darrow (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Joint Rehabilitation Sports Medical Center, Inc. ) gives expert video advice on: What causes pain?; How do doctors determine the source of specific pains? and more...
What is "pain"?
The definition of pain is a very simple one; it's an unpleasant sensation, and it comes from the Latin word "puaina" which in Latin means punishment or imprisonment. So, when a person has pain, they're often feeling like they're being punished; they often wonder "Why me? What did I do for it?" or "Why do I have to suffer for this?"
What causes pain?
Pain is caused from so many different things. Some of it we actually attribute to the mind-body connection, where a person can be depressed and because of the depression, they cycle into a pain syndrome. Some pain can be chemical in nature as obviously if you have acid and you pour it on yourself, you're going to feel a burn. Pain can be thermic in nature, meaning it occurs due to heat. And it can also be mechanical in nature, such as when you have been hurt in a certain area by being touched too hard or kicked, or you have fallen down, fractured a bone, or other things of this nature. You're obviously going to feel pain in these situations because pain is the mechanism that tells us to stop doing what we're doing, take a look at it, and see if we can continue or whether we need to take care of the problem.
What is "pain management"?
Pain management is trying to figure out what is causing the pain, and then trying to treat and possibly cure the pain through either medicine, therapy, or another means of treatment such as psychological treatment.
What is "acute pain"?
Acute pain is very simple, but that doesn't mean that it's good or bad, and it doesn't mean that it is intense or light. People think of acute pain meaning very bad pain, but it's not it's a chronicity, it just means that the pain is very new. Typically pain is considered acute from the time of injury or the time it starts, to approximately three to six months.
What is "chronic pain"?
Chronic pain is pain that a person has had typically, depending on different doctors' definitions, more than 3 to 6 months in duration. Usually when someone has chronic pain, there is a higher probability that it's going to stay for quite some time, so the person could have have pain for months, years, or even a lifetime after that.