There are primarily four types of pain
Throbbing pain: Throbbing pain may often be the result of increased blood flow either due to widening of blood vessels like it happens in migraine or because of an increase in blood flow through injured tissues.
Severe shooting pains: Severe shooting pains such as sciatica can be caused by pressure or irritation of the nerve at the point where it emerges from the spinal cord.
Colicky pain: If you experience colicky pain, it is due to the intermittent stretching and contraction of muscles in the walls of the intestines or in any other part, which leads from liver to intestine.
Referred pain: The location of the pain usually acts as a good guide to its source. However, in some cases, overlapping nerve pathways can result in a confused message, causing pain to be felt in a different area of the body from the site where it originates. This type is known as referred pain and may occur when the nerves carrying the sensation of pain merge with other nerves before they reach the brain. For instance:
- Hip pain can be felt as knee pain
- Tooth problems can be felt as earache
- Heart problems can lead to pain in arms, neck and across the chest
Sudden or acute pain with severity may be associated with following symptoms:
- Pale skin
- Rapid pulse
- Dilated pupils
- Fainting (in worst cases)
- Severe pain for a prolonged period may lead to depression, loss of appetite and weight and disturbed sleep or insomnia.
Physical examination, blood tests, imaging tests such as ultrasound scanning help you to detect the cause of the pain and where it has originates from.
Drug treatment: Painkillers are the sure shot way to get relief from short-lived as well as long-term pain. When pain is caused partly by local prostaglandin release, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen often works wonders. In addition to painkillers, other drugs such as anaesthetics, antidepressant drugs and anti-convulsant drugs may help you to relieve pain.
Physical treatment: Non-drug therapy such as gentle massage or hot & cold compresses are a hit among those who wish to avoid taking medications. These treatments stimulate other nerve endings and block the pain by altering blood flow through damaged tissues.
Acupuncture too may be helpful to heal some types of pain after surgeries or for persistent pain that does not respond to other types of treatment.
If the cause of your pain is damaged ligaments or muscles, your doctor may offer ultrasound treatment wherein the sound waves produce vibrations in the tissues and generate heat. TENS or Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation is used to derive the electric impulses to reduce pain, and is sometimes used for lower back pain or during labour.
All pain can be relieved to some degree, even if the underlying cause of the pain cannot be treated. Although, it becomes difficult to treat and control acute pain more than persistent pain.