Everyone feels pain differently. One person may not even know they have a broken bone, while another person may experience significant pain from the same injury. This is because pain is mediated by nerve fibers in the body, and the job of these nerve fibers is to send pain signals to the brain (which happens very quickly). When they reach the brain, the brain acts to alert you to pain. Because everyone’s body is different, nerve fibers and the brain can respond differently to the same stimulus. This helps explain why pain perception and pain tolerance vary so much from person to person.
Acute pain means short-lived pain lasting from a few minutes to about 3 months (sometimes 6 months). Acute pain is usually associated with a soft-tissue injury or temporary disorder and usually subsides when the injury heals or the disorder resolves. Acute pain from an injury can develop into chronic pain if the injury does not heal properly or if the pain indicates dysfunction.
Long-lasting chronic pain. It can occur constantly or intermittently. For example, headaches that last for months or years can be considered chronic pain, even if they are not always present. Chronic pain is often due to medical conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, or spinal conditions.
Neuropathic pain is due to damage to nerves or other parts of the nervous system. It is often described as a stabbing, burning pain, or tingling pain. It may also affect your sense of touch and make it difficult to feel hot or cold. Neuropathic pain is a very common type of chronic pain. It can be intermittent (that is, it comes and goes) and can be severe enough to make it difficult to perform everyday tasks. The pain can interfere with normal movement. So it can also lead to mobility issues.
Nociceptive pain is a type of pain caused by damage to body tissues. People often describe it as a sharp, aching, or throbbing pain. Often caused by trauma. For example, nociceptive pain can be caused by bumping an elbow, bumping a toe, twisting an ankle, or scraping a knee in a fall. This type of pain is common in joints, muscles, skin, tendons, and bones. It can be in both forms, acute pain as well as chronic pain.
Radicular pain is a very specific type of pain that occurs when a spinal nerve is compressed or inflamed. It radiates from the back and hips through the spine and spinal nerve roots to the legs. People having radicular pain may suffer from tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness. Pain that radiates from the back to the legs is called radiculopathy. It is commonly known as sciatica because the pain originates from the affected sciatic nerve. This type of pain is often constant and can be felt deep in the leg. Walking, sitting, and other activities can make sciatica worse. This is one of the most common forms of radicular pain.