Nociceptive Pain

Nociceptive Pain Definition

Nociceptive pain is a pain that occurs after the sensory receptor is activated and it sends signals to the brain.

Causes of Nociceptive Pain

Nociceptive pain is a pain that is either of visceral or somatic origin.

Somatic Pain

develops after an injury occurs to a section of the body like the soft tissues, joints or bones. The pain can also from burns, bruises, sprains or cuts. The pain is localized and can be sharp or dull. The causes of the pain are fractures, tumors, arthritis or metastastatic cancer that occurs on the bone.

Somatic pain comes about when nociceptors found in blood vessels, muscles fasciae, ligaments, bones and tendons are activated.

Visceral Pain

Visceral pain is the other cause of nociceptive pain results from distention, stretching or distention of internal organs.

Unlike the case of somatic this type of pain is not localized. It is indistinct in distribution and convulsive in nature. Visceral pain emerges from deeper parts of the tissues or the internal body organs. This is due to various types of injuries that have been sustained previously.

One of the vital organs that are at the risk of getting visceral pain is the gall bladder when it experiences tremendous cramping. It is mostly described as cramping, pressure, deep pain or just an ache. The pain might be on the abdomen due to obstruction in the bowel. It can also manifest itself in the form of pain on the left arm or jaw due to a heart attack.

The intestines are also susceptible. Hollow organs that are affected by visceral pain usually develop cramps. The solid organs are the points where the pain is more traumatic. It feels like being pierced or stabbed deeply. Visceral pain mostly results from infiltration of the harmful cells and extension or compression of the cells that are healthy. This makes the pain to be more intense than somatic pain. This is the kind of pain that is felt by cancer patients.

What are Nociceptors?

Nociceptive pain results from the activation of the sensory receptor that is known as nociceptor. Nociceptors react to harmful stimuli by sending a signal to spinal chord and the brain.

Nociceptors are nerve endings that are found at all parts of the body but they are out of spinal cord. They detect any type of stimuli. The organs that are deep within a body have just a few nociceptors. Most of them are concentrated on the joints and skin.

When any type if stimulus hurts the body, the nociceptoirs will detect that.

Nociceptive Pain Complications

At times nociceptive pain develops some complications. One of them is nociceptive neuropathic pain which is caused by futility of nervous system. This deprives the receptors to identify the critical condition for their injuries. The nervous system fails to send signals to the brains of the affected individuals.

Nociceptive Vs Neuropathic Pain

Unlike in the cases of visceral or somatic pain, there is no pain that is stimulated. Neuropathic pain is sort of peculiar pain that causes trauma similar to what one experiences during an electric shock or a burning sensation.

The affected individual of nociceptive and neuropathic pain is bewildered by the traumatic experience. The deplorable condition is a mystery even to those close tot the person as they cannot determine the real cause of the due to the damage on the nervous system. Some of the major causes for nociceptive and newuropathic complication are medical procedures. These procedures are radiation, surgery and chemotherapy.

The other complication is acute pain. This occurs immediately after a person sustains serious injuries after either becoming very ill or a hitting impact. The remarkable point about severe pain is that it subsides by itself. The tissues also recover in a natural way. Breakthrough pain is the other complication , This a peculiar pain which is as a result of any physical activities that are carried out to control existing pain. This is termed as the exacerbated condition for existing pain. It cannot be treated even by using the acetaminophen drugs that are highly effective.

Nociceptive and Naturopathic Pain

Nociceptive pain is usually associated with naturopathic pain. This pain is caused by an injury that occurs on the nerves. The nerve injury might occur to central nervous system or peripheral body. It feels like tingling, stabbing, shocking, or shooting sensation. This pain might also be caused by injury that affects the brain. Tumors on the brain, Herpes zoster and diabetic neurotherapy can also cause this kind of pain.

Although these types of pains appear to have some similarities, naturopathic pain is harder to treat.

The other difference between the two types of pain is the time it takes for the pain to vanish. Nociceptive pain will disappear after the healing of an injury. This is unless it is the case of inflammation that is caused by arthritis.

On the other hand, naturopathic pain tends to be chronic as the cause in irreversible. Although most pains are categorized under one of the two types of pain there are some kinds of pain n such as migraines that are a combination of both. Such cases are triggered by outside stimulus and these results to chronic cause of pain.

Common parts affected by Nociceptive Pain

Nociceptive pain can occur on any part of the body. However majority of the people at various parts of the world experience this pain in form of headache, hip pain, pelvic pain, and joint pain. Nociceptive back pain is also common.

The other body parts that are mostly affected by the nociceptive pain are the arms, legs, muscles and the blood vessels. Such kinds of pains erupt due to effects of damage on the tissues.

They are also caused over tendons or ligaments on the affected body part.

Nociceptive Pain Pathway

Nociceptive pain is arbitrated by the receptors that on the C-fibers and A-delta which are both located in the bone, viscera, muscle, and connective tissue. These receptors have a useful role at localizing the noxious chemical, mechanical and thermal stimuli. Nociceptive pain can also be in form of operative pain or trauma related pain. The pain is the normal reaction to injury on the body. It prevents you from using the injured part of the body.

This restriction is what safeguards against further injury. Although the pain causes discomfort, if the injured or broken part does not hurt, it would still be used normally and the more this happens, the more damage it would get. The damage would end up preventing the part from healing properly. There are people who have ailments like Hanson’s disease that prevent their nociceptors from working in the proper way.

These types of illnesses make them to be vulnerable to traumatic injuries that can end becoming rather extensive. The non response to pain is similar to the way medications like local anesthetics are used to prevent nociceptor response for a certain period. This is why a dental work, surgery or manipulation of the injured tissue without causing some pain.

Chronic Nociceptive Pain

Chronic nociceptive pain is a major problem. There is unbearable pain each time when a joint with chronic injury or a painful degenerative joint is moved. This will happen even if it is unlikely that there will be many more damage that might result from this kind of movement. The pain occurs as the body has no way of distinguishing nociceptive pain which may extend injury from the movement that cannot cause more damage.

This results to disuse of the painful part. This is also harmful as it because other problems like frozen joints, atrophy, weakness and osteoporosis. On top chronic nociceptive can cause wind up pains or other central sensitization forms. Social and psychological adjustments might occur together with social withdrawal, phobia for jostling, anxiety and depression.

Nociceptive pain Diagnosis

During the nociceptive pain diagnosis the doctor will:

  • Gather the details on the patient’s medical history
  • Asks than patient about the experience with identifiable symptoms
  • Since the pain tens to be localized the doctor will physically examine the affected part
  • Depending on the physical examination the right imaging test will be done. The common ones are CT scans, MRIs or X-rays.

Nociceptive Pain Treatment

Treatment for nociceptive pain is done from the least to the most. This might involve immobilizing the injured part and follow it up with physical therapy. Adding anti-inflammatory, acetaminophen or even short acting opioid is helpful especially during the early stages of the injury. Chronic injuries can be treated by combining long acting opioids with NSAIDs which is an excellent synergistic treatment for this condition.

Epidural nerve blocks are also of great help for diagnosis and nocipetive treatment. In severe nociceptive pain cases, surgery is used to fix the injured tissue internally or remove it completely.

Acute nociceptive pain is managed by using medications like anesthetics and analgesics.

Chronic nociceptive pain is harder to manage and it requires coordination by the medical practitioners and all those who are involved. Psychological factors beliefs on pain, coping styles and mood play a vital role in the adjustment of the patient to nociceptive pain.


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