Pain types: understanding your chronic pain

CBD, Fibromyalgia, Pain Management

Chronic pain is a complex little creature. It comes in many shapes and sizes and doesn’t always make itself easy to identify, meaning that understanding your chronic pain can be tough.

And, sometimes, it’s this lack of understanding or fear of the unknown that can make chronic pain feel all the more overwhelming. With this in mind, I thought it might be helpful to take a look at the different chronic pain types kicking around out there, so that you can begin to identify and manage yours.

Let’s start nice and simple – what actually is chronic pain?

Chronic Pain Explained 

Sometimes, our body’s fancy little pain alarm system malfunctions and fails to switch itself off. This can happen after an injury, trauma or illness of some sort. All our pain receptors get worked into a frenzy and forget to simmer down once the threat has been eliminated. Hence, the pain sticks firm and fast.

Put simply, chronic pain is caused by a faulty receptor system and is usually categorised by persistent pain lasting three months or longer.

But what types of chronic pain are there? And how can you identify yours?

Types of Chronic Pain 

There are two main culprits in the chronic pain gang: neuropathic and nociceptive pain.

  1. Neuropathic Pain: This type of pain refers to an issue with the nerves themselves. When nerves become damaged, they can cause you to feel pain pretty consistently. That pain may be sharp or could feel like burning. This type of pain is particularly common for those with diabetes, which is linked to a pain-causing nerve condition called peripheral neuropathy.
  2. Nociceptive Pain: Your nociceptors are the receptors in your nervous system that are activated when you’re injured. Sometimes, they fail to turn off, meaning pain messages continue to be sent, causing you discomfort that, in some cases, can be extreme.

One of the most common sub-categories of nociceptive pain is somatic pain. This means (quite literally, it’s Greek!) pain in the outer body, rather than your organs. Pain from conditions like arthritis, joint issues or other musculoskeletal issues fall under this category.

Understanding and Managing your Chronic Pain 

Now that we’ve identified the types of chronic pain we can experience, it’s important to get a good grip on the pain you’re feeling. This will help determine how best to manage your pain in the long run.

For example, neuropathic pain can sometimes be treated with certain medications that help to repair damaged nerves, or you may decide on a more natural course of pain relief such as CBD oils and supplements to help alleviate symptoms.

If your pain is falling under the nociceptive category, however, you may look to physical therapies for pain stemming from old sporting injuries, for example. Or, if you’re suffering from conditions like arthritis, you may choose to try therapies like BEMER® that help to increase circulation and reduce inflammation, thus reducing pain.

Whatever pain management path you choose to take, making sure you’re treating your pain in the right way for you will make all the difference.

For support in managing your chronic pain, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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