Pain limits analysis assignment help
Pain is a feeling of discomfort that is usually an indicator that something is wrong. The pain can be aching, steady, throbbing, pinching, and described in many other ways. Sometimes the pain can be mild while other times it can be debilitating.
Pain is also associated with other physical symptoms which include dizziness, depression, nausea, weakness, anger, mood swings, or irritability. Pain can significantly change your lifestyle and impact your relationships, job, and independence.
What is pain tolerance/limit?
Pain limit is the maximum amount of pain a person can bear or withstand. Normally, there is a threshold where the pain becomes too much to bear. At this point, you can take the steps to remove the cause of the pain or decrease pain sensations by use of medication, putting hot or cold on the area where there is pain.
Types of pain
There are 5 most common types of pain which include:
- Acute pain- it is the kind of pain that lasts a short duration like a few minutes to about three months or so. This kind of pain is also related to soft tissue injury or temporary illness which subsides after the injury heals or subsides. If the wound does not heal properly, acute pain can progress to chronic pain.
- Chronic pain- it is pain that is there for a long duration and it can be constant or intermittent. Headaches that continue for many months or years can be considered chronic pain even if the pain is not always present. Chronic pain is often a result of an illness like arthritis, a spine condition, or fibromyalgia.
- Neuropathic pain- this kind of pain is a result of damage to the nerves or other parts of the nervous system. This kind of pain is normally described as stabbing, shooting, burning pain, or feeling like needles and pins. In some cases, it can also affect sensitivity to touch and can make someone have difficulty feeling hot or cold sensations. This pain can be intermittent comes and goes) and can also be severe making it difficult to perform everyday tasks. This kind of pain interferes with normal movement leading to mobility issues.
- Nociceptive pain-it is a type of pain that is caused by damage to body tissue. It is normally described as sharp, throbbing, or achy pain usually caused by an external injury. For example, twisting your ankle, hitting your elbow, stubbing your toe, falling and scraping up your knee, etc. this pain is usually experienced in the joints, muscles, skin, tendons, and bones. It can either be acute or chronic.
- Radicular pain- it is a very specific type of pain that occurs when the spinal nerve gets compressed or inflamed. It radiates from the back to the hip, into the legs through the spine and spinal nerve root. People with radicular pain may experience tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness. Pain that radiates from the back and into the leg is called radiculopathy is commonly known as sciatica because the pain is due to the sciatic nerve being affected. This pain is often steady and can be felt deep in the leg. Sciatica can be made worse by walking, sitting, and other activities.
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some of the pain measures doctors use include:
- Numerical rating scales- this type of measurement uses a pain scale of 0-10, where 0 means there is no pain at all, and 10 represents the worst pain imaginable. It is best used to gauge how pain levels in response to treatment.
- Verbal descriptor scale- this kind of scale may help a doctor measure pain levels in children with cognitive impairment, older adults, autistic people, and those with dyslexia. The doctor asks different descriptive questions to narrow down on the type of pain instead of using numbers.
- Face scales- the doctor shows the person in pain a range of expressive faces from happy to distressed. This scale is usually used in children and autistic people.
- Brief pain inventory- it is usually a detailed questionnaire that helps doctors to gauge the effect of the person’s pain on their mood, sleep patterns, interpersonal relationships, and activities. It also charts the timeline of the pain to detect any patterns.
Other indicators of pain include:
- Moaning and groaning
- Resistance to care
- Sleeping problems
- Not eating
When to see a doctor
Pain is a normal response to injury or illness and doesn’t require a trip to the doctor. If your pain only lasts for the amount of time, you’d expect it to and you know the cause, it is probably normal. If the pain is severe and you know what is causing it you can visit your doctor.
Causes of normal pain include:
- A minor burn
- A skinned elbow
- A pulled or strained muscle
- A tension headache
- A minor ankle sprains
- muscle, tendon, skin, or bone injury
- Labor and delivery
Causes of pain that require medical attention:
- Chronic migraine headaches
- A herniated disc in the neck or back
- Heart attack
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- A compressed or pinched nerve
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Treatment for pain
Pain is very complex and needs many treatment options like medications, therapies, mind and body techniques, and others which include:
- Patient-controlled analgesia- it is a method of pain control whereby the patient can self-administer a premeasured dose of pain medicine infused with opioids. The pump is normally connected to a small tube that allows the medicine to be injected intravenously, under the skin, or into the spinal area. This method of pain is often used to treat post-traumatic pain or post-surgical pain and cancer pain.
- Trigger point injections- it is usually a procedure used to treat painful areas of muscles that contain trigger points or knots of muscles that form when muscles do not relax. A healthcare professional using a needle injects a local anesthetic that sometimes includes a steroid into a trigger point. Sterile water is sometimes injected. The trigger point is made inactive and the pain is alleviated.
- Surgical implants- surgical implants are normally used in instances when standard medicines and physical therapy fail to offer adequate relief. There are 2 main types of implants that are used to control pain:
Intrathecal drug delivery- is also called infusion pain pumps or spinal drug delivery systems. The surgeon normally makes a pocket under the skin that is usually large enough to hold a medicine pump. He also inserts a catheter that carries pain medicine from the pump to the intrathecal space around the spinal cord. The implants deliver medicine such as morphine or a muscle relaxant directly to the spinal cord where pain signals travel. this type of implant delivers significant pain control compared to pills. This system also has fewer side effects compared to oral pain medicine because less medicine is required to control pain.
Spinal cord stimulation implants- low-level electrical signals are transmitted to the spinal cord or to specific nerves to block pain signals from reaching the brain and are used to treat back or limb pain. A device that delivers the electrical signals is surgically implanted into the body. Remote control is used by the patient to turn the current off and on to control or adjust the intensity of the signals.
- TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation therapy- this method uses electrical current stimulation to end the pain. During the procedure, a low-voltage electrical current is delivered through electrodes that are placed on the skin near the source of the pain. Electricity from the electrodes stimulates the nerves in an affected area and sends signals to the brain that scramble normal pain signals. This method of pain relief is not painful and may be an effective therapy to mask pain, especially in diabetic neuropathy.
- Bioelectric therapy- it relieves pain by blocking pain messages to the brain. This type of therapy also prompts the body to produce chemicals called endorphins that decrease or eliminate painful sensations by blocking the message of pain from being delivered to the brain. This type of therapy can be used to treat many chronic and acute conditions causing pain such as back pain, muscle pain, migraines, diabetic neuropathy, etc. bioelectric therapy is effective in providing temporary pain control.
- Physical therapy- it helps to relieve pain by using special techniques that improve moments and function impaired by an injury or disability.
- Physical therapy- helps to relieve pain by using special techniques that can improve movement and function impaired by disability or an injury. Together with employing stretching, pain-relieving, and strengthening techniques, a physical therapist may use this therapy together with TENS to aid treatment.
- Exercise- regular exercise can diminish pain in the long term by improving muscle tone, flexibility, and strength. Exercise also causes the body to release endorphins also known as the body’s painkillers which help to relieve pain.
- Psychological treatment- when in pain people experience feelings of anger, sadness, bitterness, hopelessness, and despair. Excess pain can change your personality, mood, sleep patterns, and also your work and relationships. As a result, anxiety, depression, and feelings of stress may creep in making your pain worse. Psychological treatment, therefore, provides safe non-drug methods that can be used to treat your pain directly by reducing high levels of stress which aggravate stress.
- Alternative therapies- for many years people have found relief for pain in mind-body therapies, some nutritional supplements, and acupuncture. Others use massage, chiropractic, osteopathic manipulation, therapeutic touch, herbal therapies, and dietary approaches are all alternative therapies to deal with pain. However, there is little scientific evidence supporting these therapies for pain relief.
- Mind-body therapies- these are treatments that are meant to help the mind’s ability to t affect the functions and symptoms of the body. Normally mind-body therapies use various approaches including relaxation techniques, guided imagery, meditation, and biofeedback. Relaxation techniques also can help to alleviate discomfort related to chronic pain. Visualization too may be another important pain-controlling technique. Closing eyes, calling out a visual image of the pain, and giving it color or shape and size may help reduce the intensity of pain.
- Acupuncture- this method of relieving pain by increasing the release of endorphins which are chemicals that block the pain from the acupoints that are near the nerves. Through this stimulation, these nerves cause a dull ache or feeling of fullness in the muscle. The stimulated muscle then sends a message to the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) hence causing the release of endorphins that block the message of pain from being delivered to the brain.
Risk factors for chronic pain
There are several risk factors that cause chronic pain through injuries and other conditions. Some of those risk factors include:
- Genetics- some chronic pains like migraines run in the family meaning they are passed down through the genes.
- Being overweight or obese- being overweight can worsen certain health conditions that cause pain such as arthritis because the weight puts extra pressure on the joints.
- Age-old and aging people are more likely to experience chronic pain related to arthritis or neuropathy related to diabetes.
- Having an injury previously- a traumatic injury sustained earlier in life can cause chronic pain in the future.
- Having a strenuous job- if you have a labor-intensive job, you are at high risk of developing chronic pain.
- Having stress- over time it has been discovered that chronic is connected to both frequent stress and post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Smoking cigars- risking puts you at a greater risk of developing medical conditions that lead to a need for chronic pain treatment.
Lifestyle changes that can help with chronic pain
There are 4 major lifestyle factors that affect your chronic pain and can help you to minimize it. Medical care professionals call them the pillars of chronic pain and they include:
- Exercise- being able to participate in low-intensity exercises like walking, running, or swimming for about thirty minutes a day can help to reduce your pain. It can also be a stress reliever for people with stress which is important to manage when you have chronic pain.
- Reducing stress- stress plays a major role in chronic pain so it is imperative to try to reduce it as much as you can. Different people have different techniques for managing their stresses. Some of those techniques include meditation, mindfulness, and deep breathing. It is good to try and see which method of relaxation works best for you.
- Healthy diet- it is important to eat a healthy well-balanced diet as it helps to boost your overall health. Your doctor may suggest trying an anti-inflammatory diet which includes eliminating foods that cause inflammation such as refined carbohydrates and red meats.
- Having a good sleep- getting quality sleep is important for your overall health and wellness. Lack of sleep can cause you to gain weight which could worsen your chronic pain by increasing pressure on your joints. Getting enough good quality sleep is also important for stress management.
It is important to discuss the four lifestyle pillars with your healthcare provider to determine how each of them applies to your type of chronic pain and how you can bring changes into your day-to-day life.
Complications associated with chronic pain
The following are some of the complications that are associated with chronic pain and they include:
- Decreased quality of life- chronic pain can lead to hopelessness, depression, anger, withdrawal and can even bring changes to your work life and mobility hence decreasing the quality of your life.
- Depression- chronic pain brings about mood changes, anger, bitterness, and anxiety which are associated with depression.
- Substance abuse- some types of chronic pains are treated using opioids which in the long run cause addictions hence leading to abuse.
- Chronic pain brings about the feeling of hopelessness and despair. Some patients sink into depression and may want to take away their lives through suicide.
- Worsening of existing chronic illnesses- sometimes patients give up on the different treatment methods to alleviate pain and may end up giving up on treatment which causes their illness causing pain to grow worse. Also, when the chronic illness worsens, it can cause the chronic pain to become worse.
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Despite the difficulty in measuring pain, there are a number of accepted tools for tracking pain-related treatment outcomes. The proper use of these tools can allow clinicians and researchers to show both statistically and clinically the significant treatment effects. Some of these instruments range from one-item assessments of pain intensity to long surveys that tap into many dimensions of the pain experienced and overall functioning. Not until more objective neurologic measurement techniques are preferred, are clinicians who study pain will rely on careful use of established self-report pain measures.
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