The pain is defined by the International Association for the Study of Pain (International Association for the Study of Pain) as a sensory experience and emotional unpleasant, associated with a tissue, actual or potential damage, or described in terms of such damage.
We can classify pain taking into account its duration, origin, location, how it evolves, according to its intensity, prognostic factors or risk factors, and according to pharmacology, that is, according to the drugs that relieve a certain pain.
But today we will only talk about the classification according to the duration of the pain, according to this, the pain can be acute or chronic.
Acute pain or chronic pain
Acute pain is one that is limited in time, that is, it has a specific duration or is transitory, this type of pain does not usually have psychological consequences in the individual who suffers it. On the other hand we have chronic pain, this type of pain is different since it is not limited, it can last for weeks, months or even years.
As in all chronic or persistent diseases, this entity can cause many more disorders, which go beyond the simple presence of pain, especially psychological disorders, such as new or aggravated depression, anxiety and difficulty sleeping.
In addition to this, there are also changes in the work, social and economic environment, since for people who suffer from chronic pain, going to work, doing housework, going to parties and meetings is much more complicated than for someone who does not suffer from said manifestation.
All these modifications in the person's life will be directly proportional to the intensity and characteristics of the pain, since the greater the pain, the greater the deterioration.
There are different factors that can be considered the cause of this condition. As, for example, that the individual has experienced some traumatic injury, aging, obesity, poor posture and bad habits.
But in many cases, chronic pain is a symptom that indicates the possible presence of another disease, as evidenced in arthritis, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, alterations in the discs of the spine, neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, in fibromyalgia, migraines, etc.
Treatment or management of chronic pain
For everything that involves suffering from chronic pain, finding a treatment or management is essential for the person to maintain a relatively normal lifestyle. This treatment must be personalized, since as we were able to observe the causes of this type of pain are not always the same.
There is a method that has had very good results and is easy to use, designed by the World Health Organization (WHO), considering pain as a public health problem. This method is known as the Analgesic Ladder and consists of using analgesics according to the intensity of the pain and as it increases, the potency of the analgesic is also increased until it reaches opioids.
1. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also called NSAIDs for their acronym, are indicated in chronic pain whose intensity ranges from mild to moderate and where swelling may also be evidenced.
Acetaminophen or Paracetamol, is indicated in mild to moderate pain and its function is to block the generation of the painful impulse at the peripheral level.
Selective inhibitors of Cyclooxygenase 2 or COX-2 inhibitors, their mechanism of action and effects are very similar to those of NSAIDs but they have fewer side effects.
4. Antidepressants and anticonvulsants
They are atypical drugs since their daily use in medicine is not aimed at relieving pain, but they decrease the neural signals of it.
It is generally used in people who have sharp or severe pain caused by nerve injury. For example fibromyalgia and neuralgic pain that diabetic patients present.
They are drugs that relieve intense pain such as morphine, they reduce the strength or intensity of the pain signals that reach the brain, reducing the effects of the painful stimulus.
These drugs are of delicate use since they can cause addiction or dependence.
6. Topical pain relievers
We also get topical painkillers, which are nothing more than the aforementioned drugs in the form of patches, ointments and creams, which can be applied directly to the skin.
7. Psychological therapy
In addition to drugs, the patient should receive psychological help, since the presence of this entity and all the changes that it entails in the person's daily life, will cause changes at this level, such as depression, which can be a great obstacle for these patients.
The drugs described above should always be indicated by a specialist and administered under medical supervision, the patient should avoid self-medication as much as possible.
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