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We have all experienced pain and we will all go on to experience pain. It may be an acute pain from something as simple as stubbing your toe, or it could be a more enduring pain caused by an ongoing condition such as arthritis. It’s an unfortunate fact of life but, as such, there’s no harm in knowing a bit more about pain itself. We’ve put together this article to try to help answer some of the questions that you may have about it.
The duration of pain
It may be helpful to break down the ways in which we usually classify pain. Often, this is done by duration. As such, we can describe pain in the following ways –
Why do we experience pain?
Broadly, we can divide pain into three types –
How can pain be measured?
It’s very difficult to measure pain as it is the individual’s own experience of it that matters. As such, pain tends to be measured by patients themselves. One of the most common ways of doing this is using a ‘pain scale’, with patients asked to gauge their level of pain between 1 and 10, with 0 being no pain, 5 being moderate pain and 10 being the highest level of pain that can be imagined.
Scientists in America have made progress in using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to identify and predict pain levels within patients.* They monitored the brain activity of test participants exposed to pain from heat and were able to detect patterns in this activity, apparently allowing them to identify and predict pain levels with over 95% accuracy. It will be some time before their findings are able to be put into clinical use though.
How big a problem is pain?
As well as causing discomfort and suffering to the individual, pain also has a wider effect on society as a whole.
At The Edinburgh Clinic our holistic approach to pain management means that we are able to offer a One Stop Pain Clinic, dealing with the physical, emotional, and functional challenges raised by chronic pain. Of our wide range of services, the following ones are available via self-referral –
Other pain management services require a GP referral. These services are –
To make an appointment, or simply to find out more, please contact us now.
0131 447 2340