What Is Pain

What Is Pain

pain pictures
What Is Pain

Pain is an uncomfortable feeling that tells you something may be wrong. It can be steady, throbbing, stabbing, aching, pinching, or described in many other ways. Sometimes, it’s just a nuisance, like a mild headache. Other times it can be debilitating.

Pain can bring about other physical symptoms, like nausea, dizziness, weakness or drowsiness. It can cause emotional effects like anger, depression, mood swings or irritability. Perhaps most significantly, it can change your lifestyle and impact your job, relationships and independence.

Pain is classified as either acute or chronic. Acute pain is usually severe and short-lived, and is often a signal that your body has been injured. Chronic pain can range from mild to severe, is present for long periods of time, and is often the result of a disease that may require ongoing treatment.

Because perception and tolerance of pain vary widely from individual to individual, pain is difficult to define and describe. Essentially, pain is the way your brain interprets information about a particular sensation that your body is experiencing. Information (or “signals”) about this painful sensation are sent via nerve pathways to your brain. The way in which your brain interprets these signals as “pain” can be affected by many outside factors, some of which can be controlled by special techniques.

Acute pain is of short duration, usually the result of an injury, surgery or illness. This type of pain includes acute injuries, post-operative pain and post-trauma pain.

Chronic pain is an ongoing condition, such as back and neck pain, headaches, complex regional pain syndrome Type 1 (reflex sympathetic dystrophy), neuropathic pain (nerve injury pain), musculoskeletal pain, and pain related to illness. Your physician may refer you to the Pain Management Center because your chronic pain condition has not responded to conventional therapies.

Types OF Pain

All pain is an individual human experience that is entirely subjective and can only be truly appreciated by the person experiencing the pain.


Acute pain is pain that lasts for a short time and occurs following surgery or trauma or other condition. It acts as a warning to the body to seek help. Effective timely treatment is essential to prevent transition to chronic pain.


Chronic pain is pain that lasts beyond the time expected for healing healing following surgery or trauma or other condition. It can also exist without a clear reason at all.


Some forms of chronic pain, for example pain associated with severe osteoarthritis, may be treated with therapy which may include medication or surgery; however other types of chronic pain, such as neuropathic pain or migraine, may be far more difficult to diagnose and treat.


A large body of basic research indicates that chronic pain is associated with neuroplastic changes in the nervous system at peripheral, spinal cord and brain levels. Thus chronic pain is shown to have a distinct pathology that often worsens over time, and constitutes a serious separate disease entity.

Left untreated, chronic pain can have a devastating impact on all aspects of sufferers’ lives. About 65 percent of people with chronic pain report interference with daily activities including sleep, sex, work, exercise and routine self-care, which can have a negative effect on personal relationships, social interactions and lifestyle.


Cancer pain is one of the most feared aspects of cancer. It can occur in patients with both early stage and advanced disease, and in cancer survivors as a severe and debilitating side-effect of treatment.

Causes Of Pain

What Causes Chronic Pain?
Anything from a bad mattress to stomach ulcers can cause chronic pain. While it may begin with an injury or illness, pain can develop a psychological dimension once the physical problem heals.

Nerve Pain
When nerve fibers get damaged, the result can be chronic pain. Read about the very common causes of neuropathic pain, like diabetes.

What Causes Chest Pain?
Certainly chest pain is not something to ignore. But you should know that it has many possible causes.


Burns and Pain
Burns differ in type and severity — as does the pain. Click here for more about the symptoms and treatments of burn-related pain.

Compressed Nerve (Pinched Nerve)
Pinched nerves can sometimes lead to other conditions such as peripheral neuropathy, carpal tunnel syndrome, and tennis elbow. Early diagnosis can prevent damage read more. This link takes you to another site.

Foot Pain
Foot pain is one of the most common problems people experience.

Hand Pain Causes
Hand pain has many causes, including injury and disease. Fortunately, many of those causes can be treated and the symptoms eased.

Knee Pain
With today’s increasingly active society, the number of knee problems is increasing. Knee pain has a wide variety of specific causes and treatments.

Lower Leg Pain
If you’re suffering from lower leg pain, you may wonder if it’s serious or something you can treat at home.

Pelvic Pain
Although pelvic pain often refers to pain in the region of women’s internal reproductive organs, pelvic pain can be present in either sex and can stem from multiple causes.

Elbow Pain
Find out about the common causes and treatments of elbow pain.

Slideshow: Low Back Pain
Fortunately, low back pain often gets better on its own. When it doesn’t, there are effective treatments.

What types of medication can control pain?

When a rabbit needs to be hospitalized, the veterinarian may choose to give medication to reduce anxiety, such as diazepam (Valium). Rabbits require high dosages of this type of drug and may appear quite drowsy, yet when they are moved or examined, they become very alert. Your veterinarian will assess your rabbit and his disorder prior to prescribing any medication. There are no drugs developed specifically for rabbits, but many analgesics have been evaluated for rabbits, and dosages are available. There are several different categories of medication to control pain, and these will be briefly described:

1) Local anesthetics such as lidocaine, provide excellent analgesia provided that the local block is given over the entire surgical area. Veterinarians use local anesthetics for minor surgical procedures such as skin biopsies, or they can be used in the immediate period following surgery as a supplement to general analgesia.

2) Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as aspirin or Carprofen, are able to decrease swelling and inflammation. The potency of different NSAIDS vary with each drug, dose and type of pain. Rabbits require high dosages of aspirin but it can be a very effective analgesic. It can be administered at home but should onl be used under veterinary supervision. NSAIDS cannot be given for very long time periods because they have side effects on the gastrointestinal tract and the kidneys.

3) Alfa-2-Agonists, such as xylazine, are powerful analgesics especially for the treatment of abdominal organ pain. But these drugs also produce deep sedation and depression of the heart rate and blood pressure. Therefore this type of drug is not used very often for relief of pain after surgery although it can be used as part of the surgical anesthesia drug combination.

4)Narcotics include a diverse group of drugs in the opiod family. A common example of an opiod drug used for rabbits is butorphanol. Opiods are the most effective analgesics for the treatment of pain but there are well known side effects and disadvantages. Veterinarians often use narcotics for rabbits just prior or during surgery and immediately following surgery. Some opiods are controlled by the Federal Drug Administration and can be difficult for veterinarians to prescribe for home use. I have been testing the use of a narcotic patch that can be applied to the skin and left in place at home for 3-4 days. Because it does not need to be injected, it may be a good alternative to most other forms of narcotics. Your veterinarian should be able to recommend an appropriate plan to alleviate your rabbit’s pain once a diagnosis has been made. Do not try to develop your own home remedies for pain relief. Each medication has side effects that could be very dangerous for your rabbit. Caregivers can do a number of things to minimize theirabbits discomfort such as careful handling of the sick rabbit, prompt communication with your veterinarian, gentle nursing care and rest to improve his comfort, access to food and water and a palatable diet to keep the rabbit eating. It is important to prevent changes in the gastrointestinal motility especially when the rabbit is already stressed by disease.

Originally posted 2014-10-25 17:37:37.

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