When describing pain, the types will fall into three categories: Nociceptive Pain, Neuropathic Pain and Mixed Pain. Depending on the type of pain you are experiencing, your pain specialist will be able to create an appropriate treatment plan for relieving your pain and restoring your normal lifestyle.
Nociceptive pain arises from the stimulation of specific pain receptors. These receptors, called nociceptors, can respond to heat, cold, vibration, stretching and chemical stimuli released when tissues are irritated or injured. Some examples of Nociceptive pain include:
- Bone fractures
- Myofacial pain
- Burns, bumps and bruises
- Pelvic pain caused by Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Neuropathic pain (Nerve Pain) occurs as a result of structural damage and/or dysfunction within the nervous system. Since neuropathic pain often presents in widespread dysfunction throughout the body, the initial cause of the pain is often difficult to track. An example of neuropathic pain is Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD).
In some conditions, pain appears to be caused by a mixture of nociceptive and neuropathic factors. An initial nervous system dysfunction or injury may trigger the release of inflammatory mediators, resulting in a subsequent neuropathic inflammation, causing the quality of pain to change to burning, throbbing or tingling type of pain. Examples of mixed pain include migraine headaches and myofacial pain.