• Carolina Regional Orthopaedics

How Do We Feel? What Is Pain Management?


Feeling pain is a natural response from the nervous system to alert the brain of physical problems, so a person can seek the source of pain or injury and stop it. Health care professionals who are pain management specialists can assist patients by treating inflamed or pained areas, especially in the spine and extremities. They can also help patients manage their pain and prevent similar injuries in the future.


Types of Pain


Two types of pain affect individuals: acute and chronic, also known as short-term and long-term pain.


Acute pain manifests in a sudden jolt of pain that usually gradually goes away on its own. This type of pain is common after surgery, a minor injury, or illness. The pain goes away when the underlying injury recovers.


Chronic pain is defined as pain that persists for more than three months and is often accompanied by a wide range of adverse effects. Chronic pain involves nerve pathways in the body that are different from those signaling acute pain. Chronic pain stems from diseases or debilitative conditions like arthritis or diabetes, which cause progressive nerve damage. These conditions can be more challenging to treat. Still, pain management specialists are qualified to assist in a patient's care with diagnostic tests that include imaging services, EMG testing, injections, and various effective treatments that include medications and interventional procedures that do not require surgery.


Reason for Pain


The nervous system is the reason people feel pain. It consists of the central nervous system (the brain connected to the spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system, which includes all the sensory and motor nerves that feed into the central nervous system. With this combined system, nerves are basically in charge of one's pain. Any time there is an injury or something wrong, pain alerts the brain to the damage to stop it. A pain specialist works with the patient to understand the "alerts" and which body area they pertain to.


These same sensory nerves flare to the brain to protect against additional injury and process how badly that area is damaged for acute injuries. When acute pain develops into chronic pain, which does not happen with every injury, the nervous system continues to alert the brain long after the injury occurs, sometimes functioning abnormally and alerting even in the absence of ongoing damage. Sometimes, pain is triggered or re-aggravated by related emotional experiences, personal attitudes and sometimes even impacted by a genetic predisposition. Carolina Regional Orthopaedics provides pain management, physical therapy, and trauma services to help with these issues.


Carolina Regional Orthopaedics


To manage pain effectively, with the assistance of our pain treatment experts, people must evaluate their nervous system's pain signals and trace them back to a specific injury or condition. Whether acute or chronic, the pain management specialists at Carolina Regional Orthopaedics are experienced in assisting patients with managing acute and chronic pain. So don't wait—give our office a call today at 252-443-0400.


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