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Understanding Pain

Research shows that more than 50 million Americans live with pain. 

 

Some pain is caused by a chronic medical condition, while other types occur because of an accident or sports injury. There are many different kinds of pain scales, but a common one is a numerical scale from 0 to 10. Here, 0 means you have no pain; one to three means mild pain; four to seven is considered moderate pain; eight and above is severe pain.

There are four major types of pain:

  1. Nociceptive Pain: Typically pain that is the result of tissue injury. ...

  2. Inflammatory Pain: An abnormal inflammation caused by an inappropriate response by the body's immune system. 

  3. Neuropathic Pain: Pain caused by nerve irritation.

  4. Functional Pain: Pain without obvious origin

 

Long-term chronic pain changes the structure of our brain, reducing grey matter and causing functional changes. In addition to causing problems with memory, pain can also lead to problems with decision making, emotional regulation and more.  In particular, pain can have a negative impact on an older person's quality of life, contributing to: impaired mobility or immobility and associated muscle wastage. depression and anxiety.