Pain Management Resource Guide

An Overview

Pain is a common sensation among humans as well as among animals.  It’s an unpleasant feeling that we all experience at different points of our lives. Though it usually serves as an “advance signal” that something is wrong with our body that might need immediate treatment, its undesirable effects can still affect the person’s physical, mental, and emotional well being.

Pain can either be associated with a wide range of disease or injury, or it could be the disease itself. Depending on its cause, different pain relief strategies can be simple or complex. Therefore, it is important to understand the type of pain a person is experiencing to be able to determine which pain management method will be more effective.

Different Types of Pain

Pain is categorized according to duration, intensity, frequency, location, cause, and its characteristics (constant and/or intermittent). Generally, there are two basic categories of pain: Acute Pain, and Chronic (non-malignant) Pain.

Acute Pain

Though no one would want to experience pain, it’s still beneficial as pain draws attention, causing the person to avoid potentially painful situations. With acute pain, it’s commonly associated with a certain injury, indicating that damage has occurred. The following situations can cause acute pain:

  • Surgery
  • Trauma
  • Accidents
  • Dental Problems
  • Strain, Sprain, etc.

Acute pain lasts for a moment. However, there are times when the pain can last for weeks or even months depending on its severity. But the pain is just temporary and will eventually decrease along with healing especially if there’s no systemic disease or no lasting damage exists.

Chronic pain often results in fatigue, depression, or anger

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain often results in fatigue, depression, or anger

Chronic Pain is an intermittent or constant pain that still remains even beyond the expected healing period. It may be defined as pain that last for six months or longer and is often difficult to treat as its origin may be unclear. The most common causes of pain are:

  • Back Pain
  • Headache
  • Joint Pain
  • Pain from Injury

Chronic pain has clearly no purpose and if it remains, it becomes the person’s primary disorder, thus developing adverse effects such as change of appetite, tense muscles, or lack of energy. It also often results in depression, fatigue, and anger. And no matter how a person copes with it, pain that last for an extended duration could result in disability because he or she may not be able to do usual activities he or she is engaged in before the pain has began.

Regardless of its type or cause, pain that is insufficiently treated has harmful effects besides the suffering it brings. Unrelieved pain impairs the person’s ability to sleep, and some other damaging effects that’s most likely to result in complications.