Pain is a very common or ordinary condition. The happening of pain rises as people get older, and women are more likely to suffer compared to men.

There are two main kinds of pain.

  • Acute pain – An ordinary response to an injury. It begins unexpectedly and is generally short-lived
  • Chronic pain – Continues beyond the time expected for recovery. It usually lasts for longer than 3 months.

Pain might be anything from a dull ache to a sharp stab and could range from mild to extreme. You might feel pain in one part of your body or it might be widespread.

Studies indicate that a person’s emotional wellbeing could impact the experience of pain. Understanding the cause and learning effective ways to cope with your pain could improve your quality of life.

Key pain management strategies involve:

  • Pain-relieving medicines
  • Physical therapies (for example heat or cold packs, massage, hydrotherapy, and exercise)
  • Psychological therapies (for example cognitive-behavioral therapy, relaxation techniques, and meditation)
  • Mind and body techniques (for example acupuncture)
  • Occupational therapy
  • Community support groups



The most common causes of pain in adults involve:

  • Injury
  • Medical conditions (for example cancer, arthritis, and back problems)
  • Surgery

The most commonly reported kinds of pain are headache and back pain (however pain involving the limbs, shoulder, and neck is also common)



Pain is an intricate protection mechanism. It is an important part of evolution that protects the body from danger and harm.

The body has pain receptors that are connected to 2 main types of nerves that detect danger. One nerve type relays or transmits messages quickly, causing sharp, unexpected pain. The other relays or transmits messages gradually, causing a dull, throbbing pain.

Some regions of the body have more pain receptors than others. For instance, the skin has lots of receptors so it is easy to tell the exact location and type of pain. There are far fewer receptors in the gut, so it is difficult to pinpoint the exact location of a stomach ache.

If pain receptors in the skin are triggered by touching something dangerous (for instance something hot or sharp), these nerves send alerts to the spinal cord and then to part of the brain known as the thalamus.

Sometimes the spinal cord transmits an immediate signal back to the muscles to make them contract. This moves the damaged body part away from the source of danger or harm.

This is a reflex reaction that stops further damage from happening. It occurs before you feel pain.

Once the ‘alert!’ message reaches the thalamus, it categorizes the information the nerves have sent, taking into account your prior experience, beliefs, expectations, culture, and social norms. That is why people respond to pain in a different way.

The thalamus then transmits the information to other portions of the brain that are linked to a physical response, thought, and emotion. This is when you might feel the sensation of pain, think ‘That hurt! What was it?’, and feel annoyed.

The thalamus also helps with mood and arousal, which helps to explain why your interpretation of pain partly depends on your state of mind.




Numerous non-medicine treatments are available to help you manage your pain. A combination of treatments and therapies is usually more effective than just one.

Some non-medicine options involve:

  • Heat or cold – Use ice packs immediately after an injury to lower inflammation. Heat packs are better for easing chronic muscle or joint injuries.
  • Physical therapies – like walking, stretching, strengthening, or aerobic exercises might help lower pain, keep you mobile and improve your mood. You might require to increase your exercise very slowly to avoid overdoing it.
  • Massage – This is more suitable for soft tissue injuries and should be avoided if the pain is in the joints. There is some evidence that indicates massage might help manage pain, but it is not suggested as a long-term therapy.
    Relaxation and stress management techniques –
  • Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) – This type of therapy could help you learn to change how you think and, in turn, how you feel and behave about pain. This is a precious strategy for learning to self-manage chronic pain.
  • Acupuncture – A component of classic Chinese medicine. Acupuncture includes inserting thin syringes into specific points on the skin. It aims to restore balance inside the body and encourage it to recover by releasing natural pain-relieving compounds (endorphins). Some people find that acupuncture lowers the seriousness of their pain and allows them to maintain function. Scientific evidence for the usefulness of acupuncture in managing pain is inconclusive.
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy – Minute electrical currents pass through the skin via electrodes, prompting a pain-easing response from the body. There is not enough published evidence to support the use of transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy for the treatment of some chronic pain conditions. Although, some people with chronic pain that are unresponsive to other treatments might experience a benefit.

Your doctor or another primary care physician could guide you through the best treatments for you.



Many people will use a painkiller (analgesic) at some time in their lives.

The main kinds of pain medicines are:

  • Paracetamol – usually suggested as the first medicine to ease short-term pain
  • Aspirin – for short-term relief of fever and mild-to-moderate pain (for example period pain or headache)
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), for example, ibuprofen – these medicines ease pain and lower inflammation (redness and swelling)
  • Opioid medications, for example, codeine, morphine, and oxycodone – these medicines are reserved for serious or cancer pain
  • Local anesthetics
  • Some antidepressants
  • Some antiepileptic medicines



Pain medicines work in several ways. Aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are pain medicines that help to lower swelling and fever. They do this by stopping chemicals known as prostaglandins. Prostaglandins cause inflammation, swelling and make nerve endings sensitive, which could lead to pain.

Prostaglandins also help protect the stomach from stomach acid, which is why these medicines could cause irritation and bleeding in some people.

Opioid medicines work in a separate way. They change pain messages in the brain, which is why these medicines could be addictive.



The correct choice of medicine for you will depend on:

  • The location, intensity, duration, and kind of pain
  • Any activities that relieve the pain or make it worse
  • The impact of your pain has on your lifestyle, for instance how it affects your appetite or quality of sleep
  • Your other medical conditions
  • Other medicines you take

Discuss these with your doctor or another primary care physician, so that you choose the safest and most effective pain relief option.

Pain Management



Always follow directions for taking your medications safely and effectively. By doing so:

  • Your pain will probably be more manageable
  • You are less likely to require larger doses of medication
  • You could lower your risk of side effects

Medications for chronic pain are best taken daily. Talk to your primary care physician or pharmacist if your medicines are not working or are causing problems, for example, side effects. These are more likely to happen if you are taking pain medicines for a long time.

It is crucial to use a variety of strategies to help lower pain. Do not depend on medicines alone. People could reduce the levels of pain they feel by:

  • Staying active
  • Pacing their daily activity so as to circumvent pain flares (this includes finding the balance between under and overdoing it)
  • Avoiding pain triggers
  • Using coping strategies



Some of the side effects of common pain medicines involve:

  • Paracetamol – Side effects are rare when taken at the suggested dose and for a short time. Paracetamol could cause skin rash and liver damage if used in large doses for a long time.
  • Aspirin – The most ordinary side effects are nausea, vomiting indigestion, and stomach ulcer. Some people might experience more severe side effects for example an asthma attack, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), kidney damage, and bleeding.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) – could cause headache, nausea, stomach upset, heartburn, skin rash, tiredness, dizziness, ringing in the ears, and high blood pressure. They could also make heart failure or kidney failure worse, and raise the risk of heart attack, angina, stroke, and bleeding. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) should always be used cautiously and for the shortest time possible.
  • Opioid pain medicines such as morphine, oxycodone, and codeine – ordinarily cause drowsiness, confusion, falls, nausea, vomiting, and constipation. They could also lower physical coordination and balance. Crucially, these medicines could lead to dependence and slow down breathing, resulting in an accidental fatal overdose.

Talk to your primary care physician or pharmacist before taking any pain medicine to ensure it is safe for you.



Treat over-the-counter pain medicines with caution, just like any other medicine. It is always good to discuss any medication with your primary care physician or pharmacist.

General suggestions involve:

  • Do not self-medicate with pain medicines during pregnancy some could reach the fetus through the placenta and potentially cause harm.
  • Take care if you are elderly or caring for a senior citizen. Senior citizens have an increased risk of side effects. For instance, taking aspirin regularly for chronic pain (for example arthritis) could cause a dangerous bleeding stomach ulcer.
  • When buying over-the-counter pain medicines, talk with a pharmacist about any prescription and complementary medicines you are taking so they could help you choose a pain medicine that is safe for you.
  • Do not take more than one over-the-counter medicine at a time without consulting your primary care physician or pharmacist. It is easier than you think to unintendedly take an overdose. For instance, many ‘cold and flu medicines contain paracetamol, so it is crucial not to take any other paracetamol-containing medicine at the same time.
  • See your primary care physician or healthcare professional for proper treatment for sports injuries. Do not use pain medicines to ‘tough it out.
  • Consult your primary care physician or pharmacist before using any over-the-counter medicine if you have a chronic (ongoing) physical condition, for example, heart disease or diabetes.



Sometimes the pain will continue and cannot be easily relieved. It is natural to feel worried, sad, or fearful when you are in pain. Here are some suggestions for how to handle continuous pain:

  • Concentrate on improving your day-to-day function, rather than completely stopping the pain.
  • Accept that your pain might not go away and that flare-ups might happen. Talk yourself through these times.
  • Find out as much as you could about your condition so that you do not fear or worry unnecessarily about the pain.
  • Gain the support of family and friends. Let them know what support you require to find ways to stay in touch.
  • Take steps to stop or ease depression by any means that work for you, including talking to friends or professionals.
  • Do not increase your pain medicines without talking to your primary care physician or pharmacist first. Increasing your dose might not help your pain and might cause you harm.
  • Improve your physical fitness, eat healthy foods and ensure you get all the rest you require.
  • Try not to allow the pain to prevent you from living your life the way you want to. Try to smoothly reintroduce the activities you liked.
  • You might require to cut back on some activities if pain flare-ups happen but increase gradually again as you did before.
  • Focus on finding fun and rewarding activities that do not make your pain worse.
  • Look for advice on new coping strategies and skills from a healthcare professional for example an occupational therapist or chiropractor.

If you or anyone you know is suffering from body-related pain problems, our expert providers at Zenith Injury Relief & Wellness Clinic will take care of your health and help you recover.


Call 972-210-0033 to schedule your appointment, and begin living your life pain-free.



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