What Type of Pain Are You Experiencing?

Pain is a complex phenomenon that is still, to this day, not well understood. 

In our very early history, many scholars and physicians believed that pain existed purely in the physical realm. The belief was that, when the physical injury healed, patients should no longer experience pain. However, as many of us can attest, pain often persists long after the cut, bruise, or physical injury has healed. 

As time went by, various authorities proposed different theories on pain development, processing, and healing. While there were some whispers about the involvement of the central nervous system’s association with pain, it wasn’t until the Cartesian era that we truly started to accept the important role of the nervous system with regard to pain.

In the 1600s, French philosopher Rene Descartes proposed a theory on pain, parts of which are still relevant to our understanding of the subject today. Descartes popularized the notion that the brain and body were both involved with pain. Researchers that came after Descartes then built upon and refined this idea until we arrived at our current theories on pain. While it is not 100% complete, our current biopsychosocial model offers a much better explanation of pain than what we had hundreds of years ago! 

For the patient, pain can often be boiled down to “how it feels” or the type of pain. In this article, we will outline some of the major types of pain experiences and what these sensations mean.


Different Types of Pain

In the past, you’ve undoubtedly been asked to describe your pain to a clinician. As simple as this question may seem, it’s hard to answer!

However, what your doctor or chiropractor is looking for when asking this question, is the “nature” of your pain. This is important information that can indicate the best treatments for your particular condition.


Common Pain Descriptors

Pain can be described as aching, stabbing, shooting, burning, tingling, and in a variety of other ways. Let’s break down some of these common pain types.


Sharp Pain

This type of pain encompasses sensations such as “stabbing” and “shooting” pain. Pain of this nature is often reported shortly after an injury when the patient is in the acute healing phase. With time, injuries that initially caused sharp pain will lead to more “dull” pain, described below.


Dull Pain

“Aching” is a typical descriptor associated with dull pain. While dull pain, like any kind of pain, can be associated with multiple conditions, it is generally present in the chronic stage of healing. Alternatively, patients may report dull pain when they have suffered an injury to a deep structure, such as bone.


Radiating Pain

Often, radiating pain, or pain that starts in one location and seems to spread to other locations, is associated with nerve-related issues. When a nerve is irritated to any extent, pain can be felt anywhere along the nerve distribution (the areas of the body with which a given nerve is associated).

Radiating pain (and nerve pain in general) is often particularly troublesome, as it can also cause muscle weakness and other symptoms.


How Chiropractic Care Can Help With Pain

Regardless of the type of pain a patient is experiencing, chiropractic care can be a big help. By correcting any misalignments identified in the spine, chiropractors can reestablish connections that have been disrupted. It’s important to remember that all pain is associated with the brain and spinal cord. Therefore, any treatments that don’t address the central nervous system are likely only treating a portion of the issue in question.

Are you looking for a Noblesville chiropractor? Look no further than our team at Anchor Health Chiropractic. We are experts at treating all types of pain and we would be happy to help you today. Book your appointment today!


Recent Posts