Pain is the most common reason why a patient seeks medical care. It is defined as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with a real or potential tissue injury. Without pain we could suffer serious injuries without realising or noticing a health problem requiring treatment.
Pain is the most common cause of disability, a challenge for pharmacotherapeutics and also for Laboratorios Viñas.
Our company has extensive experience in manufacturing medicinal products and topical preparations for treating and relieving localised pain.
Types of pain
Depending on the passage of time, pain can be classified as:
- Chronic pain: lasting more than three months. It can get much worse due to environmental and psychological factors.
- Acute pain: lasting a short time, less than two weeks. It is usually a consequence of a disease, inflammation or tissue injury.
Sometimes it is difficult to differentiate acute pain from chronic pain, as the pain oscillates and sometimes even alternates with periods without any pain.
Chronic pain in the elderly is a worrying reality due to how common it is. In this sense, it is estimated that between 50% and 80% of the population over 65 years of age have some type of pain on a daily basis. Another possible classification of pain takes into account its physiology:
- Nociceptive pain: this is caused by the stimulation of the nociceptors, in other words, the pain receptors.
- Neuropathic pain: this is pain caused by a direct injury to the nervous system, in such a way that pain manifests itself with or without minimal stimuli. It is usually a continuous pain.
Nociceptive pain, such as articular and muscular pain, is a normal physiological self-protective response. It is a consequence of the stimulation of pain receptors both in healthy tissue (acute and vital pain to prevent or minimise damage) and in tissue with a pathological condition (for instance, pain in a joint affected by osteoarthritis).
However, neuropathic pain is an abnormal physiological response. It is the pain caused by a physical or functional injury in the pain transmission pathways (nerves) at any site in the nervous system.
Muscular pain is a “warning sign” for a pathological condition caused by a disorder in any of the structures forming part of the musculoskeletal system. In daily practice, the most common causes of muscular pain are muscle contractures, cramp and stiffness.
Articular pain or arthralgia involves any discomfort that may be felt in the joints due to an alteration of any of the elements that form them. Namely cartilage, bone, ligaments, tendons, or muscles.
If there is any type of pain that is difficult to treat, it is neuropathic pain. Its complexity makes it a challenge for any therapist. It is the only pain that is not produced by the stimulation of peripheral nociceptors, but is secondary to an injury to the Peripheral Nervous System or to injuries to the Central Nervous System itself.