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Pain is our body's most important tool to inform us that something is wrong with us. There are several ways to categorize pain, but for our purposes we shall be classifying pain into the following 2 main categories:
One common way to categorize pain is by separating it into acute and chronic pain.
Acute pain describes any mild to sharp pain that comes on suddenly and lasts for a short period of time, usually between 3-6 months. It is usually caused when there’s damage to organs, bones or muscle. Acute pain can be brought about by numerous causes, but in some cases identifying the cause of the pain might not be that easy.
Some common causes of acute pain include:
• Cuts and burns
• Strains and sprains
• Broken bones
• Labour pains
Chronic pain on the other hand is pain that’s ongoing and lasts longer than 6 months. This type of pain can continue even after the injury or illness that caused it has healed or gone away, as pain signals in the body remain active for weeks, months or even years. It’s usually associated with an injury or long-term illness (e.g. Osteoarthritis), but in some cases the pain is 1 of the main characteristics of the illness itself (e.g. Fibromyalgia).
Chronic pain can be associated with many types of medical conditions such as:
• Nerve pain
• Muscle pain
Another way to categorize pain is to classify it according to the actual physical location in the body where the pain occurs, e.g. neck, back, hip.
Neck pain is a common medical condition that can involve any tissues in the neck. As the neck is flexible and supports the weight of the head, it can be vulnerable to injuries and conditions that cause pain.
Common causes of neck pain (as well as examples of associated medical conditions) include:
Besides the actual feeling of pain in the neck, other signs and symptoms associated with neck pain include numbness, tingling sensations, range-of-motion difficulties, dizziness and swishing sounds in the head. Sometimes the pain might be worsened when moving the neck or turning the head.
Back pain can occur either in the lower back or upper back portion of the body and is the leading cause of disability in people younger than 45.
Common causes of back pain include:
Besides the actual feeling of pain, other signs and symptoms associated with back pain include dull ache, numbness, tingling sensations, “pins and needles” sensations and muscle spasms.
The hip joint can withstand repeated motion and a fair amount of wear and tear. But despite its durability, it can also wear down with age. Muscles and tendons in the hip can get overused and hip bones can also break during injuries.
Common causes of hip pain include:
Depending on the condition that’s causing the hip pain, discomfort might be felt in the thigh, inside or outside of the hip joint, groin or buttocks. The pain might get worse with activity, especially if it's caused by arthritis, and some people might also develop a limp as well from persistent hip pain.
Knee pain is a common problem with many causes, from acute injuries to complications of medical conditions. It can be localized to a specific area of the knee or be diffused throughout the knee.
Common causes of knee pain include:
Besides pain, other signs and symptoms might include redness, swelling, limping, difficulty in bearing weights, difficulty in walking up or down steps, and inability to bend or extend the knee.
Ankle pain refers to any type of pain or discomfort that is experienced in the ankles.
Common causes of knee pain include:
Besides the feeling of pain, other signs and symptoms might include ankle swelling, bruising, redness, numbness, tingling sensations, inability to bear weight on the affected ankle and stiffness.
Foot pain refers to any type of pain or discomfort affecting the foot.
Common causes of foot pain include:
Besides pain, other signs and symptoms associated with foot pain include swelling, bruising, redness, numbness, tingling sensations, instability in walking and inability to put weight on the foot.
Common causes of wrist and hand pain include:
Besides pain in the hands and wrists, other signs and symptoms include redness, swelling, bruising, numbness, tingling sensations, weakness of the hands and clicking sounds when moving the wrist.
Common causes of elbow pain include:
Besides pain, other signs and symptoms might include redness, swelling, bruises and deformity of the elbow joint.
Common causes of shoulder pain include:
Besides pain, other signs and symptoms associated with should pain might include redness, swelling, bruising and the inability to move the shoulder properly.
Regardless of how pain is categorized, when it come to the use of alternative treatment and therapies to relieve or manage such pain, there are a number of options that can be considered or explored:
At Body Option Clinic, we are dedicated to searching beneath the surface symptoms of your pain in order to identify, understand, and alleviate the underlying issues at work. Our team of highly skilled professionals are here to support you along your healing journey, so you can get back to living life on your terms.
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