It’s simple to think that pain management is solely a plan that addresses pain medication, but this is far from accurate. While drugs may be part of a pain management plan, it’s only a single aspect that may involve physical therapy, exercise, counseling, and alternative therapies to name just a few. A pain management program is guided by the nature of the pain and the causes behind it. In some cases, the management of pain contributes to the diagnosis.
Pain itself evolved as a warning system to help you avoid further pain or to recognize danger, a predictor against harm. While there are many origins of pain, there are two general groups into which pain can be divided.
Nociceptive pain results from a direct injury or tissue damage, such as a broken bone, soft tissue injury, or a cut. The damage stimulates nerves at the scene of the injury and sends signals to the brain. Nociceptive pain itself has two types, radicular and somatic pain, but in both cases, treating the cause of the nociceptive pain typically resolves the pain issue.
Neuropathic pain results from damage to the nervous system caused by disease. Typically, there’s no reason or source of pain, such as with nerve damage resulting from diabetes, which causes pain in your feet, for example. You might experience sharp and sudden pain even when you’re at rest and off your feet. Medication is typically the main treatment for neuropathic pain, acting as a filter for these pain signals, which aren’t reporting an injury or dangerous situation.
If there’s any case where your results may vary, it could be with pain. An identical stimulus applied to two people may produce different levels of pain, and the tolerance of similar pain between two people may be vastly different as well.
Because of this, Dr. Katzman must treat pain management on a case-by-case basis, using his observations and diagnostic testing along with your description of the pain you’re experiencing to develop an appropriate pain management plan.
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