What Is Pain?


Pain is a signal from the central nervous system indicating something is wrong. It’s an uncomfortable feeling that can occur in many different ways. It can come and go. It may feel like shooting, stabbing, burning, aching, pinching or the feeling of pins and needles. It can be felt in any part of the body.

Pain also has an emotional component based on how an individual perceives it. Prior memories regarding pain and situations in which pain was caused can affect an individual’s experience of pain. It may also be affected by genetics, and psychological and social factors. Pain is a subjective experience. It differs for each person.

Pain can be differentiated in a number of different ways. It can be differentiated by how long it has been taking place: acute pain versus chronic pain. Pain can also be differentiated by the tissue of the body which is affected by the pain, for example: nociceptive versus neuropathic pain.

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