Nerves and the brainNerves control the body’s functions like the organs, sensation, and movement. The nervous system receives information and generates the correct response. Two major types of nerves are sensory and motor. Sensory nerves relay information like touch, temperature, and pain to the brain and spinal cord. Motor nerves relay signals from the brain back to the muscles, which causes them to contract voluntarily or reflexively. The peripheral nervous system is the combined millions of nerves throughout the body. The peripheral nervous system’s nerves relay signals/messages to the central nervous system, which is comprised of the brain and spinal cord.
Acute vs. ChronicAcute pain has a short duration of around three months or less. The causes are usually clear and not as difficult to diagnose. The underlying factor/s like an injury is resolved the pain also goes away. As the pain is gone, the individual no longer has problems carrying out daily activities. A few causes of acute pain are:
- Surgical procedures
- Dental procedures
- Bone fractures
- Open wounds
CP and CPSChronic pain is defined as any type of pain that persists for six months or longer. Chronic pain syndrome is a collection of conditions that are associated with chronic pain. These conditions can make the pain worse or cause other complications like sleep problems, anger, anxiety, and depression.
CausesDoctors don’t know exactly what causes chronic pain syndrome. It often starts with an injury or painful condition such as:
- Broken bones
- Back pain
- Joint problems
- Muscle strains and sprains
- Repetitive strain injuries
- Nerve injury/damage
- Lyme disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
DiagnosisA doctor will go over an individual’s medical history, illnesses, or injuries that could have started the pain. They will ask questions to learn more about the type of pain being felt and how long. Questions can include:
- When did the pain begin?
- Where on the body does it hurt?
- What does the pain feel like – Throbbing, Pounding, Shooting, Sharp, Pinching, Stinging, Burning
- The severity of the pain on a scale of 1 to 10
- What sets the pain off?
- What makes it worse?
- Have any treatments helped?
- Computed tomography is a powerful X-ray that generates detailed images.
- Magnetic resonance imaging uses magnets and radio waves to take pictures of the organs and structures.
- X-rays use radiation in very low doses to create images of the body’s structures.