The pain symptoms can vary from person to person and can range in severity. It can be dull, mild, sharp or quite severe. It’s important that patients are able to explain the type and location of pain to their doctors so that proper treatment can be found. Pain can be acute or chronic. Acute pain has a sudden onset, and can be caused by things such as cuts or incisions from surgery. Chronic pain can be persistent and for some people, resistant to treatment. It can cause long-term, lasting pain that leads to issues such as depression, anxiety and sleeplessness. In either form, pain is an unpleasant experience that has physical and psychological implications.
Pain can affect any part of the body, external or internal. In many cases, pain is the result of a trauma, injury or illness. For others, it can stem from disease such as cancer or inflammatory conditions. Still, others have pain but cannot always find a medical explanation for it. Pain that is acute can transition into chronic pain if not treated properly. Many people suffer the pain and discomfort of back and neck pain. Joints, muscles and bones can also be affected. In addition to discomfort that can be serious, this type of pain can also cause problems with mobility and flexibility. People who can’t move as a result of pain can experience problems in other areas of life. Careers can suffer, and there may be a toll on relationships, hobbies and finances. Emotional health can also suffer. People may become withdrawn, angry, impatient, unmotivated, stressed, anxious and depressed. Pain can also cause fatigue and a weakened immune system. In some cases, pain can cause deformity or disability.
Symptoms can include soreness, achiness, burning or stinging pain. Others include inflammation and swelling, redness, tightness, stiffness, weakness, instability, areas that are warm to the touch, fever, inflexibility and inability to bear weight on certain parts of the body. Some forms of pain are easier to treat. Pain management can also be complex, requiring patients and doctors to explore many options before finding one or a combination that works. Pain medications that are over the counter or prescription (opioids) work for many people but some may experience annoying, even dangerous side effects. Other options include physical therapy, nerve blocks, spinal cord stimulation, massage, acupuncture and psychotherapy.