The Different Types of Pain & Its Treatment

“The sensation of pain involves communication between our nerves, spinal cord & brain. There are different types of pain, depending on the underlying cause.
We all feel pain in different ways & can experience more than one type of pain simultaneously” [1]. Understanding the various types of pain is crucial as it makes it easier for us to talk to our Pain Consultant & describe our symptoms

Acute pain

This refers to short-term pain which comes on suddenly, and is due to a certain cause, such as an injury to our body tissue (e.g. from surgery, broken bones, burns, cuts, etc.). In most instances, it is prevalent for under six months, and as soon as the underlying cause is treated, it disipates. Generally speaking, acute pain starts off by generating an intense or sharp pain, and then systematically improves [1].

Long-Term/Chronic Pain

This relates to pain which continues for over six months (even after the initial injury has dissipated).
In fact, different types of chronic pain (e.g. frequent headaches, nerve damage pain, lower back pain, fibromyalgia pain, and arthritis pain) which are very common, can go on for “ years and range from mild to severe on any given day. Moreover, chronic pain can bring on associated symptoms such as: limited mobility, tense muscles, and a lack of energy. [And] while past injuries or damage can cause chronic pain, sometimes there’s no apparent cause. Without proper management, chronic pain can start to impact your quality of life. As a result, people living with chronic pain may develop symptoms of anxiety or depression” [1].

Different Pain Categories

Various categories of pain comprise: Nociceptive Pain, which is regarded as the most common form of pain. It is generated by the stimulation of pain receptors (nociceptors), which react to tissue injury. Visceral Pain, which comes about from damage or injury to internal organs. Somatic Pain which is a result of stimulation to the pain receptors in our tissues (e.g. our bones, connective tissues, joints, muscles and skin). And Neuropathic Pain, which is caused by
dysfunction or damage to our nervous system which generates dysfunctional or damaged nerves misfiring pain signals [1].

Seeing a Pain Consultant Should Be Your No 1 Priority

Fortunately, there is now a plethora of excellent conventional and cutting-edge modalities to treat your pain, regardless of the cause. And patients often find relief from a combination of treatment options which form part of a Holistic Personalised Treatment Plan, which is drawn up by your Pain Specialist. These treatments can range from pharmaceuticals to trigger point injections, to botox, to surgical implants, to spinal cord stimulation implants, and other specialist interventions.


[1]. Santos-Longhurst, A. (2018). “Types of Pain: How to Recognize and Talk About Them.” Healthline.