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What Are the Basic Types of Pain?

Physical pain, although unpleasant and at times debilitating, is an important way for the body to let us know that something is wrong and requires attention. There are multiple causes of pain, and people respond to it in very different ways.

Understanding the different types of pain can help ensure that the right treatment is given to alleviate symptoms. Let’s talk about how pain is classified and who you can talk to about treatment for your pain.

How Is Pain Categorized?

Pain can be defined as either acute or chronic pain:

Acute pain is caused by sudden trauma and generally subsides, and it usually has a shorter duration than that of chronic pain. It is most often the result of damage to tissue, such as a broken bone, muscle tear, or a problem with an organ.

Chronic pain can come on gradually and worsen over time. It tends to last much longer than an acute pain episode, and it is often associated with a long-term condition such as multiple sclerosis or arthritis. It can also be resistant to medical treatment if not managed correctly or without an accurate diagnosis; and although it may be a result from damaged tissue, it is often attributable to nerve damage.


Damage or injury to tissue – which includes bones, soft tissue, and organs – is a leading source of pain. Acute tissue injuries such as a broken bone, or a sprain which affects the adjacent soft tissues, can cause immediate pain – but this can usually be treated successfully without it leading to long-term problems. Other types of damaged tissue can cause chronic pain, such as arthritis, which is joint inflammation due to tissue damage in the joint.


Nerves can be damaged by a number of causes, including trauma, diseases such as diabetes, or as a result of a stroke or infection. Certain medications such as chemotherapy drugs can also lead to nerve damage.

Nerve damage can occur in the central nervous system, which includes the brain and spinal cord, or in the peripheral nervous system that runs through the rest of the body and sends signals to the central nervous system.

A common type of nerve pain is peripheral neuropathy, which occurs when nerves are damaged. It results in pain and loss of function, such as motor movement or the sense of touch. It often develops in the longest nerves first, affecting the feet and toes. Correcting the underlying cause of peripheral neuropathy – such as managing diabetes – can help resolve symptoms, but other treatments may be necessary.

Pain Management in Washington State and New Mexico

Don’t let pain affect your quality of life anymore, contact the interventional pain management doctors at Lynx Healthcare to get the expert medical care you need. We stay ahead of the latest techniques in diagnostic and treatment methods for pain management, and we use an integrative treatment approach to tackle the source of your pain and improve your mobility and quality of life.

We have multiple offices in Washington and New Mexico. To schedule an appointment, please call the location near you or request an appointment now via our online form. We look forward to seeing you.

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