Chronic Pain

The Different Types of Chronic Pain

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There are three primary types of chronic pain in the human body. Chronic pain signifies pain that lasts 6 months or more. It typically requires the intervention of a trained medical professional. The three types of chronic pain are neuropathic pain, nociceptive pain and viscera pain. 

Type 1: Neuropathic Pain

Often referred to as neuropathy, neuropathic pain comes from the nerves that transmit pain signals to the brain. Instead of an physical injury causing the pain signals, there is damage in the nerves themselves. This is resulting in faulty pain signals being sent; thereby, leading to chronic pain.


How is this possible? The human body has a network of nerves called the peripheral nerve system. It is made up of all the spinal column nerves and nerve roots. If these nerves become injured or begin to malfunction (usually through injury or disease) then this will cause chronic pain.


An example of neuropathic pain is when a nerve is crushed and damaged from an accident. The wound and bones may heal but the nerve damage may be a cause of chronic pain.

Type 2: Nociceptive Pain

Nociceptive pain is when the body sustains a wound, injury, or certain type of aggressive disease. There are various types of nociceptive pain including the following:


Somatic Pain

  • Somatic pain comes from external factors such as an injury to the skin, bones,muscles, and ligaments.
  • Described as sharp and throbbing pain.

 Bone Pain

  • If you happen to break a bone, it will eventually heal. After the healing process, if the bone continues to cause you pain, this would be an example of chronic somatic bone pain.

 Muscle Pain

  • Post-workout soreness is not an example of chronic pain. If you have overloaded the muscle to the point of persistent pain and spasms, that is an example of chronic somatic muscle pain. Muscle pain can also occur from specific diseases.

Type 3: Visceral Pain

Viscera pain comes from your internal organs. Not every organ in the body has pain receptors. The major causes for concern, which are in the upper torso, do have the ability to send pain signals. The troublesome part about visceral pain is that the brain cannot pinpoint exactly where the pain is coming from. This is why seeking the advice of a medical professional is critical.