Pain is a general term that describes uncomfortable sensations in the body and can be described as sharp stabbing, dull ache, throbbing, stinging, sore, and pinching. It can range from uncomfortable to debilitating and can be consistent or on and off. Pain is highly subjective. People respond to pain differently. Some people have a high tolerance for pain, while others have a low tolerance.
Pain starts from activation of the nervous system. There are 9 steps of the pain circle:
Step 1: Local inflammation. There are injury, surgery, infection causing local inflammation.
Step2: Peripheral sensitization. Local inflammation irritates the nerves lowering the pain threshold causing peripheral sensitization.
Step3: Central sensitization. Nerve signals are transmitted to the brain causing central sensitization.
Step4: Pain sensation. The brain tells you that there is pain in the body somewhere.
Step5: Pain cognitive processes. The brain where is sensing the pain connects other part of the brain where controls emotion causing emotional and behaviour changes.
Step6: Depression and anxiety. The brain where controls emotions is affected by the pain signals and alters its function causing depression and anxiety
Step7: Cortical reorganization. The brain reallocates its task to different parts of the body to reduce pain sensation and help replace the lost function.
Step8: Avoidance and disability. The body will respond the brain demands to redistribute the work causing avoidance and disabililty.
Step9: Muscle spasm deconditioning. Injured and related muscles become spasmed to protect the body from moving and feeling the pain causing muscle waste.
Acupuncture is a therapy in which thin needles are inserted into the body to relieve the pain.