Pathophysiology of Pain Question

Pathophysiology of Pain Question

Main Discussion Post There are various forms of pain. Pain can occur in almost any system within the human body. Pain can be physical or psychological, acute or chronic, gradual or rapid, and so on. It is important for me as a graduate nursing student to be able to understand the pathophysiology of pain so that I have a stronger knowledge and clinical base when providing primary care to my patients. For the purpose of this discussion, I will review acute, chronic, and referred pain, as well as explain how gender and age might impact the pathophysiology and treatment plan. Acute, Chronic, and Referred Pain Acute pain is pain that lasts for 3 months or less. An example of acute pain is breaking a bone or ischemic pain from the broken bone.Pathophysiology of Pain Question Acute pain tries to signal the body when there is damage and is usually nociceptive, meaning it arises from actual or threatened damage to non-neural tissue and is due to the activation of nociceptors (McCormick & Frampton, 2019). It can be characterized by physical signs like elevated heart rate, increased blood pressure, and increased respiratory rate and is usually sharp in nature. Delta A nerve fibers send signals to the central nervous system. According to the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), chronic pain is the leading cause of disability in the United States. It is a pain that lasts longer than 3 months and pain that lasts more than 1 month after its expected tissue healing process. Chronic pain occurs periodically and can be easily exacerbated, felt in the back, joints, and other parts of the body.


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Although some causes can be psychological, the root of chronic pain is usually neuropathic (IASP, 2018). Unlike acute pain that is sharp in nature, chronic pain is often described as tingling, shooting, or electric pain. This is because its underlying cause lies in a lesion or disease in the somatosensory nervous system, a neuron system responsible for relaying sensations detected in the periphery through pathways in the spinal cord, brain stem, and parietal lobe (Gleveckas-Martens & Crisan, 2014). Referred pain is pain that happens in one part of the body, but is felt in another. For example, someone suffering from a heart attack may experience pain in the neck or jaw. Another example is sinus or throat pain that can be felt in someone’s ear. It can be acute or chronic. Referred pain is deep pain that occurs when nociceptors, free nerve endings, in the viscera are activated. Diagnosis and Treatment Pain is known as the fifth vital sign but is often forgotten about when doing routine visits. A thorough assessment is critical in the diagnosis of pain. Completing numerical and visual pain assessments to gather information on the origin, duration, location, intensity, etc., can aid diagnosis. If pain cannot be visualized, labs and imaging tests can help detect inflammatory areas in the body (Levy & Mills, 2018, p. 437). The treatment of pain depends on its type and length. It is important to keep acute pain under control early before it gets too bad. Pain medications, antiemetics, anti-inflammatories, cold compresses can help with acute pain. Some common treatments from chronic pain include narcotics, anti-inflammatories, physical and/or occupational therapy, and nonpharmacological treatments like massage and acupuncture (McCormick & Frampton, 2019, p. 405). Pathophysiology of Pain Question When it comes to gender and age, the perception of pain is different to each individual. Several studies found that pain thresholds were lower in young adults versus older adults, as well as lower in women than in men (Petrini, Matthiesen, & Arendt-Nielsen, 2015, p. 594). Treatment may also vary based on a person’s belief systems. One must also consider issues that may alter the treatment of pain, such as decreased metabolism in many elderly adults, as well as a person’s tolerance. I may have a higher tolerance for pain because I take pain medication often, while the next person may have a faster response than me. References McCormick, T., & Frampton, C. (2019). Assessment of acute and chronic pain. Anesthesia & Intensive Care Medicine, 20(8), 405. Retrieved from International Association for the Study of Pain (2018). IASP pain terminology. Retrieved from;Template=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&ContentIK=1728#Pain Levy, N., & Mills, S. (2018). Pain as the fifth vital sign and dependence on the numerical pain scale is being abandoned in the US. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 120(3), 435-438. Gleveckas-Martens, N., & Crisan, E. (2014). Somatosensory system anatomy. Retrieved from Petrini, L., Matthiesen, S. T., & Arendt-Nielsen, L. (2015). The Effect of Age and Gender on Pressure Pain Thresholds and Suprathreshold Stimuli. Perception, 44(5), 587–596. to at least two of your colleagues on two different days who selected different factors than you, in the following ways: Share insights on how your colleague’s factors impact the pathophysiology of pain. Suggest alternative diagnoses and treatment options for acute, chronic, and referred pain. Pathophysiology of Pain Question

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