Understanding Pain

Many of us have experienced pain in some degree throughout the course of our lives. We may understand what pain can feel like, but it can still be difficult to fully define. A good definition of pain is "an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage."

While most definitions give the scientific description of pain, the emotional and physical effects can be difficult to describe, as they vary from person to person. The following sections are available to help you better understand pain so that you can seek proper treatment from your pain specialist.


How Pain is Treated

Pain can be very difficult to manage, as the treatment varies from patient to patient. Sometimes the treatment path for a patient can be as simple as resting and aspirin, or as involved as taking medication or having surgery. Usually, physicians will follow a treatment plan that begins with less invasive therapies and progresses to stronger, more invasive solutions depending on the type and severity of pain. Your treatment plan will also depend on how an individual responds to various treatment options.

When it comes to treating pain, there are three levels to consider:

  • Level 1 – Basic Pain Therapies
    The first level includes conservative treatment options.
  • Level 2 – Mid-Level Pain Therapies
    The second level of treatment options includes more aggressive approaches.
  • Level 3 – Advanced Pain Therapies
    If it is not possible to achieve acceptable pain relief with basic or mid-level therapies, pain specialists will try more advanced treatment options.
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