Assessment of pain: types, mechanism and treatment
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Department of Cell and Organism Biology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
Department of Clinical Endoscopy, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
Department of Internal Medicine, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Department of Applied Pharmacy, Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2013;20(Special Issue 1):2–7
Pain is the most common symptom of disease, which accompanies us from an early age. It is a protective mechanism to which the body responds to harmful stimulus. The definition of pain states that it is a subjective sensory and emotional experience. It is connected to the stimulus that it invokes and is also based on the observation of psychological interpretation of the phenomena taking place. Pain is individual for each person. Pain affects both our previous experience of pain and psychosomatic conditions, depending on the relationship between the psyche and the body. Pain is always an unpleasant sensation. The feeling of pain can be caused by irritation of pain receptors, which can be found in the skin, joints and many internal organs. The cause of pain may also be damage to the nervous system, both the peripheral nerves, brain and spinal cord. Pain can also occur without damage to tissues, although the patient refers to it (psychogenic pain). The process of pain is a complex phenomenon. Experience of pain depends on the strength of the stimulus, individual susceptibility and individual resistance to pain. Pain receptors are sensitive to mechanical, thermal or chemical stimuli. The operation of noxious stimulus to these receptors results in the processing into an electrical signal. This impulse is conducted by nerve fibress into the spinal cord and then to the brain. At this point, there is the realization that something hurts us. Pain is not only somatic in nature, associated with the condition of the body, but it is a multidimensional phenomenon. Therefore, in addition to the physiological process of pain, its subjective perception is also important, which is decided by the central nervous system. It consists of the emotional aspects: suffering and attitude towards pain and pain expression. A review of pain physiology is essential to fully understand the principles of pain management.
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