Medical Directory

Why a person is in pain

How does the mechanism of perception of pain, why some people do not feel it at all, as well as how the body protects itself from pain, says the department of science "Gazety.Ru".

We feel pain every day. She controls our behavior, shapes our habits and helps us survive. Thanks to the pain, we put plaster in time, take the sick-list, withdraw our hand from the hot iron, we are afraid of the dentists, run away from the wasp, sympathize with the characters of the movie “Saw” and we are avoiding the gang of bullies.

Fish are the first organisms on Earth that have felt pain. Living beings evolved, it became increasingly difficult, and their way of life too. And in order to warn them of danger, a simple mechanism for survival appeared - pain.

Why do we feel pain?

Our body consists of a huge number of cells. In order for them to interact, there are special proteins in the cell membrane - ion channels. With them, the cell exchanges ions with another cell and is in contact with the external environment. The solutions inside the cells are rich in potassium, but poor in sodium. Certain concentrations of these ions are maintained by a potassium-sodium pump, which pumps out excess sodium ions from the cell and replaces them with potassium.

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The work of potassium-sodium pumps is so important that half of the food eaten and about a third of the inhaled oxygen goes to provide them with energy.

Ion channels are the real gates of the senses, thanks to which we can feel warmth and cold, the scent of roses and the taste of our favorite dish, and also experience pain.

When something acts on the cell membrane, the structure of the sodium channel is deformed and it opens. Due to changes in the ionic composition, electrical impulses arise that propagate through the nerve cells. Neurons consist of a cellular body, dendrites and an axon - the longest process along which the impulse moves. At the end of the axon are bubbles with a neurotransmitter - a chemical that is involved in the transmission of this impulse from the nerve cell to the muscle or to another nerve cell. For example, the signal from nerve to muscle transmits acetylcholine, and between neurons in the brain there are many other neurotransmitters, such as glutamate and the "hormone of joy" serotonin.

Cut your finger while cooking salad - this was with almost everyone. But you do not continue to cut your finger, but withdraw your hand. This is because the nerve impulse runs through the neurons from sensitive cells, pain detectors, to the spinal cord, where the motor nerve is already transmitting a command to the muscles: remove your hand! Here you have covered your finger with a plaster, but you still feel pain: the ion channels and neurotransmitters send signals to the brain. The pain signal passes through the thalamus, hypothalamus, reticular formation, areas of the middle and medulla.

Finally, pain reaches its destination — sensitive areas of the cerebral cortex, where we are fully aware of it.

Life without pain

A life without pain is the dream of many people: neither suffering nor fear. It is quite real, and among us live people who do not feel pain. For example, in 1981, Stephen Pete was born in the USA, and when his teeth erupted, he began to chew his tongue. Fortunately, his parents noticed it in time and took the boy to the hospital. There they were told that Stephen had inborn insensitivity to pain. Steve's brother Christopher was soon born, and he was found the same.

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Mom always told the boys: infection is a silent killer. Without knowing the pain, they could not see the symptoms of the disease. Frequent medical examinations were necessary. Not imagining what pain is, the guys could fight half to death or, having received an open fracture, waddle with the protruding bone, without even noticing it.

Once, working with an electric saw, Steve cut his arm from hand to elbow, but sewed it up on his own, too lazy to go to the doctor.

“We often skipped school because we found ourselves in a hospital bed with another injury. We spent there not one Christmas morning and birthday, ”says Stephen. A life without pain is not a life without suffering. Steve has severe arthritis and a sore knee - this threatens to amputate him. His younger brother Chris committed suicide by learning that he might be in a wheelchair.

It turns out that the brothers have a defect in the SCN9A gene, which encodes the Nav1.7 protein, the sodium channel involved in the perception of pain. Such people distinguish the cold from the hot and feel touch, but the pain signal does not pass. This sensational news was published by in the journal Nature in 2006. Scientists have established this in the process of researching six Pakistani children. Among them was a magician who entertained the crowd, walking along hot coals.

In 2013, Nature had published by another study, the object of which was a little girl, unfamiliar with a sense of pain. German scientists at the University of Jena have discovered a mutation in the SCN11A gene, which encodes the Nav1.9 protein, another sodium channel responsible for pain. The overexpression of this gene prevents the accumulation of ion charges, and the electrical impulse does not pass through the neurons - we do not feel pain.

It turns out that our heroes got their “superpower” because of the failure of the sodium channels, which are involved in the transmission of the pain signal.

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When we are in pain, the body produces special “internal drugs” - endorphins, which bind to opioid receptors in the brain, dulling the pain. Morphine, isolated in 1806 and gained fame as an effective painkiller, acts like endorphins - it joins opioid receptors and inhibits the release of neurotransmitters and neuron activity. When given subcutaneously, the effect of morphine begins in 15–20 minutes and can last up to six hours. But one should not get involved in such a “treatment”, it can end badly, as in the story of Bulgakov “Morphine”. After several weeks of using morphine, the body ceases to produce endorphins in sufficient quantities, a dependence appears. And when the effect of the drug ends, a lot of tactile signals that enter the brain, no longer protected by the anti-pain system, cause suffering - there is a withdrawal.

Alcohol also affects the endorphin system and increase the threshold of pain sensitivity. Alcohol in small doses, like endorphins, causes euphoria and allows us to be less susceptible to a punch in the face after a wedding feast. The fact is that alcohol stimulates the synthesis of endorphins and inhibits the reuptake system of these neurotransmitters.

However, after the removal of alcohol from the body, the thresholds for pain sensitivity decrease due to the inhibition of the synthesis of endorphins and an increase in the activity of their seizure, which does not alleviate the hangover typical of the next morning.

Who is more ill: men or women?

Women and men feel pain in different ways - according to a study by scientists from McGill University, who have discoveredthat the perception of pain in female and male mice begins with different cells. To date, there have been many studies on the nature of female and male pain, and most of them indicate that women suffer more from it than men.

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In the course of large-scale work In 2012, when scientists analyzed the records of more than 11,000 patients in California hospitals, scientists found that women endure pain worse and face it more often than men. And plastic surgeons from the USA have establishedthat women have two times more nerve receptors per square centimeter on their skin than men. Girls since birth are so sensitive - according to to research, published in the journal Pain, in newborn girls, mimic reactions to injections in the foot were more pronounced than in boys. It is also known that women often complain of pain after surgery and feel worse in a chair at the dentist.

Hormones come to the aid of poor women.

For example, one of the female genital hormones, estradiol, reduces the activity of pain receptors and helps women more easily tolerate high levels of pain.

For example, the level of estradiol increases dramatically before childbirth and acts as a kind of anesthetic. Unfortunately, after menopause, the level of this hormone in the body becomes less, and women suffer pain harder. By the way, men have a similar situation with testosterone. The level of this male sex hormone decreases with age, and some pain symptoms become more pronounced.

But pain is not only the transmission of nerve impulses to the brain, it is also a psychological perception of pain. For example, participants have one interesting research the pain threshold increased three times after they were shown how the other participant calmly endured the same pain effect. Boys from birth are taught to be courageous: "boys do not cry," "you must endure," "shame to cry." And it makes a significant contribution: men endure pain, and the brain “thinks” that it is not that painful for them.

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Pain caused by cancer treatment

You may still need a painkiller, but sometimes these procedures can significantly reduce your pain. Procedures and tests: some tests used to diagnose cancer, and see how well the treatment works, are painful. If a specific procedure is necessary, care for the pain should not prevent you from going through the procedure. Any pain that you experience during and after the procedure can usually be alleviated. Your needs and the type of procedure to be performed should determine the types of medications that are given against pain.

Pain is important - it warns us of illness

There are diseases in which there is insensitivity to pain:

  1. Stroke after stroke:
    localization of insensitivity is tied to the area of ​​the brain where the hemorrhage occurred
  2. Diseases causing spinal conduction disorders:
    • injuries
    • late stages of vertebral dorsopathy, for example, intervertebral hernia
    • infectious diseases of the spine
  3. Leprosy and other diseases

You never asked yourself: why do we feel pain?

You may be told that the pain of the procedure is unavoidable or that it will not last long. However, you should ask for pain medicine if you need it. Pain caused by surgery: Surgery is often part of a cancer treatment that grows like solid tumors. Depending on the type of surgery, a certain amount of pain is usually expected. You will be given a pain reliever, so you do not have to experience pain after surgery. The pain due to the operation can last from several days to several weeks, depending on the type of operation performed.

This question has always been very worried about neuropathologists, neurosurgeons and other doctors. After all, knowing why pain occurs, you can think of a defense mechanism against it. Thus arose the famous analgesics, and then more powerful substances that allow you to deal with pain symptoms.

We feel pain thanks to special receptors - the nerve endings with which all the nerves of our peripheral nervous system are supplied. The cobweb of nerves enmeshes the entire surface of our body. With this, nature protected us from harmful external influences, arming us with reflexes: it hurts us — we withdraw our hand. This is due to the delivery of a signal to the brain by the irritated receptor and the subsequent lightning-fast response reflex from it.

Phantom pain: Ghost pain is the long-lasting effect of an operation, besides the usual pain from an operation. If you amputate one limb, such as a leg, arm, or even chest, you can still feel pain or other unusual or unpleasant sensations that seem to come from a missing limb. Doctors are not sure why this is happening, but phantom pain is real, it is not "only in your mind."

There is no single medicine that constantly controls phantom pain in all patients. Many methods have been used to treat this type of pain, including pain medication, physical therapy, antidepressants, and electrical nerve transcutaneous stimulation. If you are experiencing the pain of a ghost, check with your cancer team about what can be done.

The deeper, the less the sensitivity of the nerves. They are already programmed for another task: protecting the spine and internal organs. The spine is protected by the nerve roots coming out of the spinal cord, and the internal organs by the vegetative nervous system, which is arranged reasonably, with different sensitivity for different organs.

Side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy: some side effects of treatment cause pain. If pain is not controlled, it may even cause some people to stop treatment. Talk to the cancer group about any changes you notice, or about any pain.

Peripheral neuropathy is caused by nerve damage caused by certain types of chemotherapy, vitamin deficiency, cancer and other problems. Pain can make people have difficulty eating and drinking or even talking. Mucositis and other injuries caused by radiation. The pain caused by external radiation depends on the part of the body that receives the treatment. Radiation can cause skin burns, mucositis and scarring, which can cause pain. The throat, intestines and bladder are also prone to radiation damage, and you may experience pain if these areas are treated.

  • Be sure to tell your doctor right away if you notice these problems.
  • Ulcers in the mouth.
  • Chemotherapy can cause wounds and pain in the mouth and throat.
What in your case means that it feeds on its own and can control when it should go to the bathroom.

Three thresholds of protection from pain

If our nerves and roots reacted literally to all the pain signals, we simply could not live because of the constant suffering. Therefore, the Creator for our salvation and the salvation of the brain, so as not to distract him because of minor scratches, came up with as many as three pain thresholds of protection. The threshold is overcome when the number of pain impulses exceeds the conditional allowable value.

But he needs help to get dressed, look after and move. For two weeks, Sarah does not look the same: she is agitated, aggressive, and rejects contact with people. His daughter Ana, concerned about this change in attitude, told the doctor. Ana forgot to mention that her mother, just two weeks ago, twisted her ankle as she walked past her from the wheelchair to the bed. However, this detail would be of great help to the doctor. If he knew, he would not have given a dose of an antipsychotic drug that he took in Sarah, but would have prescribed an anti-inflammatory agent.

All pain signals from nerve receptors are analyzed by the brain.

  1. The first threshold is at the level of the PNS (peripheral nervous system). Minor irritations are eliminated here. Therefore, we do not cry from a small scratch, but we can not even notice it.
  2. The second threshold is located at the level of the central nervous system (central nervous system), in the spinal cord. Going on here
    • filtering pain signals passed through the PNS threshold
    • analysis of radicular signals arising from vertebral pathologies in the back
    • analysis of pain impulses that the autonomic nervous system sends, which connects all internal organs with the central nervous system
  3. The third threshold (the most important) is the pain threshold located in the brain of the central nervous system. The brain has to decide, by means of the most complex analysis and counting of impulses from all pain receptors, whether in sum it is a danger to us, whether to signal it to us. All these operations are performed by neurons of the brain for some fractions of milliseconds, which is why our reaction to pain stimulation is almost instantaneous. Unlike the previous thresholds, which transmit impulses upward thoughtlessly, the brain approaches this analysis selectively. It can block pain signals or reduce pain with endorphins (natural painkillers). During stresses and critical situations, adrenaline is produced, which also reduces pain sensitivity.

How is an anti-pain system regulated?

It should also be noted that, along with morphine-like opiate endogenous analgesics, the well-known brain mediators play an important role, such as: serotonin, noradrenaline, dopamine, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), and also hormones and hormone-like substances - vasopressin (antidiuretic hormone), neurotensin. Interestingly, the action of brain mediators is possible both at the level of the spinal cord and of the brain. Summarizing the above, we can conclude that the inclusion of an anti-pain system helps to reduce the flow of pain impulses and reduce pain. If there are any inaccuracies in the work of this system, any pain can be perceived as intense.

Thus, all pain is regulated by the joint interaction of nociceptive and antinociceptive systems. Only their coordinated work and subtle interaction allows to perceive the pain and its intensity adequately, depending on the strength and duration of the effect of the irritant.

Acute pain

Each describes his own sensation of pain in his own way, someone “groans” and “gasps”, and someone may call his mother. However, the reaction to acute pain is the same for everyone: involuntary wincing and removal. You can feel it in different ways, accidentally inject a sharp object, burn yourself on a heated plate, and hitting the little finger on a bedside table or sofa is generally a classic.

Such pain is felt suddenly, but just as quickly and goes away. The main thing is to react quickly and not allow the pain factor to spread more, that is, to submit to the reflexes. The causes of acute pain are many. It can be, as well as outside, and inside the body, for example: stabs in the side, wedged back, twisted foot. It is necessary to listen to your body - it will tell where the "failure" occurred. 80% of people regularly suffer from back pain. Joint pain - from excessive sports hobbies or from the fact that you sit all the time in the office. Such symptoms indicate that you lead a wrong lifestyle and can be easily cured. It's simple, replace the bus ride to the house, walk. Instead of junk food, eat vegetables or fruits. And do not abuse the number of workouts, because this is the case when more does not mean better.

But if, despite all the measures taken, the pain did not pass, you should immediately consult a doctor. An experienced specialist will tell you what exactly hurts and what measures should be taken. Ignoring the small tingling, crunching and tingling is not worth it, since there is a risk that acute pain will turn into chronic.

Chronic pain

Chronic pain is pain in the fibers themselves, which were not properly cared for, and they hurt when there is no reason for it. Such, one might say, unreasonable pain impulses represent a great danger to the organism. After all, they block the dopamine “reward system” in the brain, which is responsible for the pleasure in our life. There is even a risk of depression.

However, there is an opposite connection: not pain causes depression, depression causes pain. Then, after consulting with a specialist, it is worthwhile to buy antidepressants, which the psychiatrist will also prescribe. But there is another way to get rid of depression - a good mood. More than once it has been proven that getting positive emotions improves overall well-being. The best way to get them is social or physical activity.

Emotional pain

Following from the above, the physiological pain in all people works almost equally. However, if one calmly reacts to an injection, when he shakes as the other shakes, just from one thought about it, then the reason is different. The fact is that each person, depending on temperament, has a different degree of pain threshold, and each perceives pain differently.

In fact, emotions can affect and influence a person’s perception of pain. There are five kinds of such emotions: guilt, fear, loneliness, helplessness and anger.

Do you hold your hand over the candle for the longest and do not attach importance to minor scratches? Your pain threshold is high and your body, so to speak, with a delay, reacts to damage. The main thing is not to overreact. After all, even with the usual exercise, you can hurt yourself and you will not notice it in time.

What is the pain?

The significance of pain lies in its signal and pathogenic functions. This means that when a potential or actual threat of damage appears to the body, it informs the brain with unpleasant (painful) echoes.

Pain is divided into two types:

  • acute pains that are characterized by relative short duration and a specific connection with tissue damage,
  • chronic pain, manifested during the period of tissue repair.

Damage of soft tissues, bones, muscular spasm

Damage of parenchymal and hollow organs, overdistension, carcinomatosis of serous membranes, ascites, hydrothorax, constipation

Damage (compression) of the nervous structures

Localization of pain are:

  • anal,
  • gynecological, menstrual, generic, ovulation,
  • head, eye and tooth,
  • pectoral,
  • gastric,
  • intestinal,
  • intercostal,
  • muscle,
  • renal,
  • lumbar,
  • sciatic
  • cordial,
  • pelvic,
  • other pains.


Headache is one of the most common types of pain.

It is divided into the following main groups:

  • vascular,
  • muscle tension
  • liquorodynamic,
  • neuralgic,
  • psychalgic
  • mixed

Some of the groups have their subtypes. But even so, the classification of pain according to the nature of the course and the pathophysiological mechanism is used for diagnosis.

Throbbing headache, similar to an attack. Frequent relapses are possible.

Tension headache

The most common pain is in acute and chronic form. Symptoms include muscle tension, psychogenic or chronic cephalgia.

Acute or chronic headaches resulting from traumatic brain injury.

Vascular headache

It appears as a result of changes in the state of the veins and arteries of the skull and brain: stroke, subdural or epidural hematomas and the like.

Symptoms include low or high blood pressure.

Is the result of abuse of drugs, substance abuse and alcohol or cessation of their use.

Symptoms: bouts of severe unilateral pain of different duration and frequency

Associated with impaired metabolism

Symptoms: hypercapnia, hypoxia, hypoglycemia

Associated with structural changes in the structure of the neck and head

It is the result of various diseases of the neck, eyes, skull, mouth and so on.

It is the result of nerve irritation during the endoneural or extraneural process. Characteristic occurrence of zones that provoke pain

Other cases not classifiable

Cases of non-traditional and "mixed" type

Pain in the heart

Heart pain is a lot more cause for concern than others. After all, their consequences can be very serious.

Most often, heart pains are accompanied by:

  • weakness
  • heart palpitations
  • severe perspiration
  • feeling of lack of air.

The pain itself may be of a different nature:

An insufficient amount of oxygen and nutrients enter the heart. Pain occurs during exercise or emotional agitation.

Symptoms: short-term pain, giving out under the scapula, in the left shoulder or lower jaw

Symptoms: prolonged intense pain, which is accompanied by profuse sweating, difficulty breathing, blanching

This type of pain can be a symptom of heart disease such as arrhythmia, myocarditis, cardiomyopathy, and complications of intercostal neuralgia.

Pain appears during various body movements.

Acquired Heart Disease

There is a relative insufficiency of the coronary blood circulation and metabolic disorders in the myocardium.

Symptoms: pain in the precordial region (middle and lower chest)

Symptoms: prolonged aching pain in the precordial region, caused by an increase in blood pressure

Types of abdominal pain

Abdominal pain is a fairly common occurrence. It may be of a completely different nature: to be associated with diseases of the digestive system or caused by psychogenic factors.

Manifested in the form of colic of varying intensity in the region of the middle part of the abdomen.

Long cutting pain, accompanied by tension of the abdominal muscles and increased pain during body movements

Caused by the suspiciousness of a person and is the result of a stressful situation.

Most often, the pain of burning and shooting character that occurs when the ambient temperature changes or when you touch the pain point

By intensity over time

Different intensity can be caused by both the type of disease and its features (severity)

By the nature of sensations

Result of limited narrowing of the intestinal lumen

The result of a progressive inflammatory process in the abdominal cavity

Lasts from several minutes to days. Characteristic of new diseases (for example, appendicitis inflammation)

Lasts from three months and more. Characteristic of chronic diseases: gastritis, ulcers, gallbladder, pancreatitis

Gastritis pain. Description

A disease such as gastritis is a fairly common phenomenon in the modern world. It is associated with inflammation of the gastric mucosa due to the appearance of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori in the body, as well as such bad habits as smoking, excessive drinking, unhealthy diet and stressful situations.

The manifestation of gastritis

Simple or catarrhal gastritis

Sudden and severe pain when eating poor-quality food or an allergic reaction to any product

Erosive or corrosive gastritis

Sudden and severe abdominal pain when chemicals enter the stomach

The result of purulent inflammation of the stomach

A rare form of gastritis that results from blood poisoning.

Manifested in the primary disease or the transition from acute to chronic

Symptoms of acute gastritis

  • acute paroxysmal pain
  • heartburn,
  • vomiting
  • increased saliva production
  • constipation or diarrhea,
  • tachycardia,
  • hemorrhage in the stomach.

Symptoms of chronic form of gastritis:

  • loss of appetite,
  • bad smell from the mouth,
  • heaviness in the stomach after eating,
  • gagging,
  • hemoglobin deficiency.

Pancreatitis pain

Pancreatitis is the process of inflammation of the pancreas.

  • severe encircling pain in the left and right hypochondria and the epigastric region,
  • vomiting
  • breaking stool
  • general weakness
  • dizziness.

The result of the defeat of the pancreas in children

The consequence of excessive enthusiasm for unhealthy food (fatty, spicy) and alcohol

Symptoms: acute cutting pain of shingles, vomiting, weakness

The disease develops slowly with symptoms such as periodic aching pain in the stomach, vomiting, nausea

Pain in liver disease

Unpleasant sensations in the liver can be caused by the following diseases:

What are the pains in the liver? The nature of the arising pains under the right hypochondrium is aching and long, they tend to increase even with slight physical exertion, the use of harmful food (fatty, spicy, fried, sweet), alcohol and cigarettes. Nausea, belching and bad breath from the mouth can also occur.

In severe forms of the disease, itching is added to the main symptoms in different areas of the body, spider veins, yellowish skin color and desquamation.

Kidney pain

It is impossible to determine with precision whether the pain is directly related to the kidneys or it is only echoes of other diseases in the region of the back and right side. To do this, you must identify other symptoms:

  • pain dull and aching
  • one-sided pain,
  • fever,
  • violation of urination.

Kidney stones or urolithiasis

Stones enter the ureter and impede the flow of urine, which because of this returns back to the kidney, which leads to swelling

Wavy, very strong, can spread not only to the right, but also to the left side, lower abdomen, groin

Kidney infection, pyelonephritis

Kidney edema occurs due to infection with blood from some nidus of inflammation: boil, uterus and its appendages, intestines, lungs, bladder

Sharp, aching. It becomes almost impossible to touch any pain

May be the result of a serious injury or cessation of blood supply to the kidneys due to renal artery thromboembolism.

Nephroptosis or stray kidney

Kidney prolapse occurs, and it begins to move around its axis, which leads to the bending of blood vessels and impaired blood circulation. Women have a greater predisposition for this disease.

Dull pain in lumbar region

The kidneys partially or completely stop their work due to a violation of the water and electrolyte balance in the body

At different stages of pain can be different: from dull to acute

Muscle pain

Myalgia is a muscle pain that is different in localization and origin. What are the symptoms of this ailment?

With myalgia, pain is divided into two types:

  • aching, pressing and dull aches in the muscles
  • general muscle weakness, pain with pressure, nausea, dizziness.

The emergence of feelings of pain in the muscles associated with nervous stress, psychological and emotional overload, overwork, exercise, exposure to cold and damp. One or more factors cause muscle spasms, which, in turn, lead to the clamping of nerve endings, which causes pain.

Also, there are cases when myalgia occurs against the background of chronic fatigue, which leads to the accumulation in the tissues of the muscles of the oxidized products of the metabolic process.

A more dangerous scenario is when myalgia itself is a symptom of infectious diseases or rheumatism.

A special point for consideration is muscle pain after exercise, which for many athletes is one of the criteria for successful exercise.

Types of muscle pain after exercise:

  1. Normal moderate is the most common pain that occurs after intense exercise. The source is microtraumas and micro-breaks of muscle fibers and an excess of lactic acid in them. This pain is normal and lasts on average about two to three days. Her presence means that you did a good job last week.
  2. Lagging pain that appears in the muscles after a couple of days after exercise. Usually such a condition is characteristic after a change in the training program: its complete change or increase in loads. The duration of this pain from days to four.
  3. Injury pain is the result of a minor injury or serious problems (such as muscle break). Symptoms: redness of the injury site, his swelling, aching pain. It is not a norm, urgent medical measures are needed, which are at least to apply a compress to the injured place.

Pains during labor

One of the symptoms of upcoming labor is labor. The description of the pain varies from pulling to sharp in the lumbar region and extends to the lower abdomen and thigh.

The peak of pain contractions occur at the time when the uterus begins to shrink further, so that the uterine mouth can open. The process begins with visceral pain, which is difficult to localize. The cervix gradually expands, causing water to flow away and the head of the child falls. She begins to press on the muscles of the vagina, the cervix and the sacral plexus. The nature of the pain changes to intense, piercing and sharp, more concentrated in the pelvic region.

The contractions can last from three to twelve hours (in rare cases even longer) and can be accompanied by pain of varying degrees. A significant role in their feelings is played by the psychological state of the woman in labor - it is necessary to understand that this process brings you closer to a meeting with your baby.

And finally, most psychologists are inclined to believe that many pains are our excessive suspiciousness. Even if this is the case, whatever the nature of your painful sensations, it is better to consult a doctor and undergo a prophylactic examination.


Pain has several definitions. Let's consider them.

  1. Pain is the psychophysical state of a person, which is a reaction to stimuli associated with organic or functional disorders.
  2. Also, this word refers to the unpleasant sensation that a person experiences with any dysfunctions.
  3. Also, the pain has a physical form. It manifests itself due to failures in the body.

From the above, we can draw the following conclusion: pain is, on the one hand, the fulfillment of a protective function, and, on the other hand, a phenomenon that is of a warning nature, namely, signals about the upcoming breakdown of the system of the human body.

What is pain? You should know that this is not only physical discomfort, but also emotional experiences. The psychological state may begin to deteriorate due to the presence of a painful focus in the body. Against its background, there are problems in the work of other body systems. For example, a disorder of the gastrointestinal tract, reduced immunity and decay of working capacity. Also, a person may worsen sleep and appetite is gone.

Emotional state and pain

In addition to physical manifestations, pain affects the emotional state. A person becomes irritable, apathetic, depressive, aggressive and so on. The patient may develop various mental disorders, sometimes expressed in the desire to die. The strength of spirit is of great importance here. Pain is a test. It happens that a person can not assess their real state. He either exaggerates the painful effect, or, on the contrary, tries to ignore him.

An important role in the patient's condition is played by the moral support of relatives or other close people. It is important how a person feels in society, whether he communicates. It is better if he does not withdraw into himself. Also of great importance is the awareness of the patient about the source of the discomfort.

Medical professionals are constantly faced with such feelings in patients, as well as with their emotional mood. Therefore, the doctor is faced with the task of diagnosing the disease and prescribing a treatment regimen that will have a positive effect on the recovery of the body. Also, the doctor must see what kind of psychological and emotional experience a person may experience. The patient needs to give recommendations that will help him to emotionally adjust himself in the right direction.

What are known species?

Pain is a scientific phenomenon. It has been studied for many centuries.

It is customary to divide the pain into physiological and pathological. What does each of them mean?

  1. Physiological pain is a reaction of the body, which is carried out by means of receptors on the focus of the appearance of any ailment.
  2. Pathological pain has two manifestations. It can also be reflected in pain receptors, and can also be expressed in nerve fibers. These pain sensations require a longer treatment. Since it involves the psychological state of man. The patient may experience depression, anxiety, sadness, apathy. These conditions affect his communication with other people. The situation is aggravated by the fact that the patient is locked in himself. Such a human condition is very slow in the process of recovery. It is important that during treatment the patient has a positive attitude, and not a depressive state, which can lead to a deterioration of the person’s condition.

Define two types. Namely: acute and chronic pain.

  1. Acute is defined as damage to the body’s tissues. Further, as you recover, the pain goes away. This type appears sharply, passes quickly and has a clear source. There is such pain due to any damage, infection or surgery. With this type of pain in a person, the heart begins to beat rapidly, pallor appears and sleep is disturbed. Acute pain occurs when tissue damage occurs. It quickly passes after the treatment and healing.
  2. Chronic pain is defined as a condition of the body in which, as a result of tissue damage or the onset of a tumor, pain occurs, which lasts a long time. In this connection, the patient’s condition is aggravated, but there are no signs that a person suffers in acute pain. This type of negative impact on the emotional and psychological state of a person. When the pain in the body is present for a long time, the sensitivity of the receptors is dulled. Then the pain is felt not as pronounced as at first. Doctors claim that such sensations are the result of improper treatment of the acute type of pain.

You should know that the untreated pain in the future will be bad for the emotional state of a person. As a result, she will make a burden to his family, relationships with close people and so on. Also, the patient will be forced to undergo repeated therapy in a medical institution, to spend forces and funds. In hospitals, doctors will need to re-treat such a patient. Also, chronic pain will not allow a person to work normally.


There is a definite classification of pain.

  1. Somatic. Under such pain, it is commonly understood damage to parts of the body such as skin, muscles, joints and bones. The causes of somatic pain include surgery in the body and bone metastases. This species has permanent signs. As a rule, pain is described as gnawing and throbbing.
  2. Visceral pain. This species is associated with such lesions of internal organs as inflammation, compression and stretching. Usually pain is described as deep and constricting. Accurately determine its source is extremely difficult, although it is constant.
  3. Neuropathic pain appears due to irritation of the nerves. It is permanent, and it is difficult for the patient to determine the place of its occurrence. Typically, this type of pain is described as acute, burning, cutting, and so on. It is believed that this type of pathology is very serious, and the most difficult to cure.

Clinical classification

There are also several clinical categories of pain. These divisions are useful for initial therapy, as further their signs are mixed.

  1. Nocigenic pain. There are skin nociceptors. When they are damaged, a signal is transmitted to the nervous system. The result is pain. When internal organs are damaged, a spasm or muscle strain occurs. Then there is pain. It can affect certain areas of the body, for example, on the right shoulder or the right side of the neck if the gallbladder is affected. If unpleasant sensations appear in the left hand, this indicates heart disease.
  2. Neurogenic pain. This type is characteristic of damage to the central nervous system. It has a large number of clinical types, such as the detachment of the branches of the brachial plexus, incomplete damage to the peripheral nerve and others.
  3. There are many mixed types of pain. They are present in diabetes, hernia and other diseases.
  4. Psychogenic pain. There is an opinion that the patient is formed by pain. Representatives of different ethnic groups have different pain thresholds. Europeans have it lower than Latin Americans. You should know that if a person experiences any pain, they change his personality. Anxiety may occur. Therefore, the attending physician must adjust the patient to the desired mode. In some cases, hypnosis is possible.

Other classification

When pain does not coincide with the site of damage, several types of pain are distinguished:

  • Projected. For example, if you squeeze the spinal roots, the pain is projected into areas of the body innervated by it.
  • Reflected pain It appears if the internal organs are damaged, then it is localized in remote areas of the body.

What types of pain do babies have?

In a child, pain is most often associated with the ears, head, and tummy. The latter in small children hurts quite often, as the digestive system is formed. Colic is common in infancy. Headaches and otic pains are usually associated with colds and infections. If the child is healthy, the pain in the head may indicate that he is hungry. If a child has headaches often and is accompanied by vomiting, then it is necessary to contact a pediatrician for examination and diagnosis. Tightening a visit to the doctor is not recommended.

Pregnancy and pain

Pain during pregnancy in women are quite common. In the period of carrying a baby girl constantly experiences discomfort. She may experience pain in different parts of the body. Many experience pain in pregnancy in the abdomen. A woman has hormonal changes during this period. Therefore, she may experience feelings of anxiety and discomfort. If the stomach hurts, it can be caused by problems that can be determined by the gynecologist. The presence of pain during pregnancy may be due to movement of the fetus. When there is a aching pain in the lower abdomen, you need to consult a doctor.

There may also be pain due to the digestive process. The fetus can put pressure on the organs. That is why pain occurs. In any case, it is better to consult a doctor and describe all the symptoms. It should be remembered that the state of pregnancy is at risk for both the woman and the unborn child. Therefore, it is important to determine what kind of pain is present in the body and describe its semantics to the treating physician.

Unpleasant sensations in the legs

As a rule, this phenomenon occurs with age. In fact, the causes of pain in the legs can be many. It is better to find out them and as soon as possible and start treatment. The lower limb includes bones, joints, muscles. Any ailments of these structures can cause pain in a person.

If a person is healthy, then the pain in the legs may occur from a great physical exertion. As a rule, it is associated with sports, long standing or long walking. As for the fair sex, the pain in the legs can accompany a woman during pregnancy. Also, discomfort may occur as a result of taking contraceptives of a particular group. Common causes of leg pain:

  1. Various injuries.
  2. Radiculitis, neuritis.
  3. Inflammatory processes.
  4. Flatfoot and arthrosis.
  5. Violation of water-salt metabolism in the body.

There are also vascular pathologies in the legs that cause pain. The person himself cannot discern what is causing the discomfort. He does not even know what specialist he needs to contact. The task of the doctor is the accuracy of diagnosis and the appointment of an effective treatment regimen.

How do you diagnose a patient who complains of pain in the legs?

Since the causes of unpleasant sensations in the legs of a great many, it is necessary to identify relevant in each case. For this, a series of surveys should be conducted.

  1. Blood chemistry.
  2. The patient is assigned a complete blood count.
  3. Evaluation of water and electrolyte disorders.
  4. X-ray
  5. The amount of glucose present in the blood is evaluated.
  6. Microbiological examination.
  7. Examination of the patient with tumor markers, if there is a suspicion of cancer.
  8. Serological examination.
  9. A biopsy of the bone, if there is a likelihood of bone tuberculosis in the body
  10. Scanning of UZDG.
  11. Vascular angiography is done to confirm venous insufficiency.
  12. Tomography.
  13. Rheovasography.
  14. Scintigraphy
  15. Ankle pressure index.

It should be understood that a person who has come to the clinic with complaints of pain in his legs will not be assigned all of the above types of examinations. Initially, the patient will be examined. Then, to confirm or refute any diagnosis, he will be assigned to certain studies.

Women's pain

Pain in a woman can occur in the lower abdomen. If they occur during menstruation and have a pulling character, then do not worry. This phenomenon is the norm. But if the lower abdomen pulls constantly and there is a discharge, it is necessary to consult a doctor. The causes of these symptoms may be more serious than pain during menstruation. What can cause lower abdominal pain in women? Consider the main pathologies and causes of pain:

  1. Ailments of female organs such as the uterus and ovaries.
  2. Sexually transmitted infections.
  3. The pain may occur due to the spiral.
  4. After surgery in the female body can form scars that cause pain.
  5. Inflammatory processes associated with diseases of the kidneys and bladder.
  6. Pathological processes that may occur during pregnancy.
  7. Some women have pain during ovulation. This is due to the process of tearing the follicle and leaving it with the egg.
  8. Also, pain may occur due to the bend of the uterus, resulting in stagnation of blood during menstruation.

In any case, if the pain is permanent, then you need to visit a doctor. He will conduct an inspection and prescribe the necessary examinations.

Pain in the side

Quite often, people complain of pain in their sides.In order to determine why a person is disturbed by such discomfort, it is necessary to accurately determine their source. If pain is present in the right or left hypochondrium, it means that the person has diseases of the stomach, duodenum, liver, pancreas, or spleen. Also, pain in the upper lateral part can signal a fracture of the ribs or osteochondrosis of the spine.

If they occur in the middle part of the lateral areas of the body, this indicates that the large intestine is affected.

Pain in the lower divisions, as a rule, occurs due to ailments of the end portion of the small intestine, ureters, and ovarian diseases in women.

What causes a sore throat?

The reasons for this phenomenon are several. Sore throat is present if a person has pharyngitis. What is this ailment? Inflammation of the posterior pharyngeal wall. Severe sore throat can occur due to sore throat or tonsillitis. These diseases are associated with inflammation of the tonsils, which are located on the sides. Often the disease is observed in children. In addition to the above, the cause of such sensations may be laryngitis. In this disease, the human voice becomes hoarse and hoarse.

Toothache may occur unexpectedly and take a person by surprise. The easiest way to get rid of it is taking an anesthetic drug. But it should be remembered that taking the pill is a temporary measure. Therefore, do not postpone your visit to the dentist. The doctor will examine the tooth. Then he will appoint a snapshot and carry out the necessary treatment. Dental pain suppress painkillers are not worth it. If you experience any discomfort, you should immediately contact your dentist.

A tooth may begin to hurt for a variety of reasons. For example, pulpitis can be a source of pain. It is important not to start a tooth, but to cure it in time, because if you do not provide medical care in time, his condition will worsen and there is a probability of tooth loss.

Unpleasant feeling in the back

Most often, back pain occurs due to muscle or spinal problems. If the lower part hurts, then perhaps this is due to ailments of the bone tissue of the spine, ligaments of the spinal disc, spinal cord, muscles and so on. The upper part may be disturbing due to aortic ailments, breast tumors and inflammatory processes of the spine.

The most common cause of pain in the back are abnormalities in the muscles and skeleton. As a rule, this occurs after exposure to large loads on the back, while stretching the ligaments or their spasms. Intervertebral hernia is less common. In third place in the frequency of diagnosis are inflammatory processes and tumors in the spine. Also, diseases of the internal organs can cause discomfort. The choice of treatment for back pain depends on the causes of its occurrence. Drugs are prescribed after examining the patient.

If a patient complains of heart pain, this does not mean that it is the heart pathology that is present in the body. The reason may be quite different. The doctor needs to find out what the essence of the pain is.

If the cause is of cardiological nature, then most often they are associated with coronary heart disease. When a person has this ailment, the coronary vessels are affected. In addition, the cause of pain can be inflammatory processes that take place in the heart.

This organ may also begin to hurt as a result of excessive physical exertion. As a rule, this occurs after intense workouts. The fact is that the greater the load on the heart, the more rapidly its demand for oxygen increases. If a person is actively involved in sports, then he may experience pain, which disappears after a rest. If heart pain does not pass for a long time, then you need to review the load that the athlete carries on the body. Or it is worth rebuilding the plan of the training process. A sign that you need to do this is heart palpitations, shortness of breath and numbness of the left hand.

Types of pain and its analysis by the brain

What kinds of pain are there, and how are they analyzed by our brain? How does the brain manage to choose from the huge number of signals supplied to it, the most important ones?

Fortunately, Sarah completed treatment for pain in her legs. And after a few days her appetite improved, she became more social, she stopped being agitated, and the specialist reduced the dose of antipsychotic. Sarah's case is not unusual. In the study, interventions for pain or behavior associated with dementia: a systematic review showed that there is a link between improved arousal and pain reduction. In fact, when the patients participating in the study stopped the anesthesia, the agitation they suffered increased, although the study lasted only four weeks.

Pain is classified by a number of signs.

In our perception of pain is the following types:

It looks like a knife kick, its other name is dagger.

Acute pain occurs suddenly and lasts intensively, warning our body of serious danger.

Other work included in the review showed that treating pain reduces behavioral disturbances. However, treating pain in people with dementia is a problem because in the later stages of the disease, patients cannot tell how they feel. If the guardian does not learn to interpret the signs, it is very possible that our relative suffers if we do not perceive him. According to the article “Pain Management in Patients with Dementia,” the prevalence of chronic pain is closely related to age.

In fact, 72% of people over 85 suffer from pain. Given these data, it is clear that pain is very common among people with dementia. In the above survey, it is estimated that between 60% and 80% of people with dementia in residential centers experience pain on a regular basis.

  • Injuries (incised, stabbed wounds, fractures, burns, spinal bruises, breaks and tears of organs during a fall, etc.)
  • Inflammations and purulent abscesses of the internal organs (appendicitis, peritonitis, perforation of the ulcer, rupture of a cyst, etc.)
  • Vertebral displacement, and other diseases of the spine

If in the first two cases the pain is constant, in the third it has the character of a lumbago (lumbago or ishis), which is typical, for example, for all acute back pains.

The pain occurs because these patients usually have musculo-skeletal, gastrointestinal, heart conditions, urinary infections, pressure ulcers and orofacial pain. However, their inability to report this causes the caretakers to be unaware of what is happening, and therefore do not receive appropriate treatment. An international epidemiological study compiled in a previous article claims that older people, especially people with dementia, receive less pain medication than cognitively healthy people, even when they go through the same painful situations.

Chronic pathological

It exists all the time, it causes torment, it is “not useful”, and the reason for it is sometimes difficult to explain. This is a kind of failure in the transmission of pain impulses on some of the levels. Examples

  • Phantom pains - occur with amputations of the limb (no limbs, but the pain remains)
  • Syringomyelia (painful sensitivity, another name - "anesthesia of dolorosis")
    The paradoxical disease, in which severe pain is felt at the same time, but at the same time the fact that it hurts (for example, an arm, leg, or another area) is absolutely not sensitive to external stimuli. Sign of such patients - a lot of burns on the hands or feet. The disease is caused by morphological changes in the tissue in the area of ​​the spinal cord.

Humans — and, as far as we know, also many superior animals endowed with a nervous system like ours, can feel physical pain for several reasons, both external and internal. Pain, which can be very acute and instant, long-lasting and chronic, constant, and all the options between these two extremes that you can imagine. Because the truth is that the suffering associated with painful sensations is perhaps one of the most democratic and omnipresent evils that exist.

Do not try to treat the pain without finding out its cause - it can be deadly!

In what cases, for example?

  • Appendicitis attack
  • Exacerbation of gallstone disease
  • Spinal injury
  • Heart attack
  • Perforated ulcer and many other diseases

Be healthy! Careful about your feelings.

And in addition to this, as if for further complication, our intellectual development also led us - and in this case almost certainly, that this happens only with people, not with animals - to evolve throughout the course of evolution of biological powerful intelligence and the ability to abstract such Thus, in addition to other inconveniences, and many of the advantages, no doubt, psychological pains may arise in us, perhaps no less agonizing than strictly physical.

Pain is a sensory experience, and therefore with no doubt the goal is connected with the senses, mainly the skin, through the nervous system. But at that time he has an important psychological component that is much more subjective. In both cases - physical pain or psychological pain, which sometimes unite and strengthen - the nervous system is involved in an absolute way, both in acquiring a painful feeling and in the subsequent transmission to the brain, which is the only thing that "feels" in fact both forms of pain .

Video: How do we feel pain?

The pain is felt by each person, therefore it is very strange that this feeling has become so overgrown with myths that say absolutely nothing about the reasons for its appearance and its essence.

Most likely, this can be explained by the fact that there is a double look at the nature of man in society: the body and the mind are considered two separate mechanisms.

But body and mind are united and pain arises as a result of their close interaction in the process of continuously updating information about the needs of the entire system.

Below are the revelations of the most common myths about pain.

What are the pains and how we feel them

We face pain in life from the moment of birth, it’s not for nothing that we are born with crying. And then we can not avoid it: we fall, scratch, cut, burn. And although we are always pretty angry at her as a child, having matured, we begin to understand its importance. After all, if there were no pain, we could die from our own rash actions or just accidents: you would seriously get hurt by simple kitchen knives, and leaning against a hot battery, woke up with terrible burns. Indeed, pain is given to us for salvation, and as long as we feel it, we are alive and relatively healthy.

How do we feel pain

There are diseases in which there is insensitivity to pain:

  1. Stroke paralysis: localization of insensitivity is tied to the part of the brain where the hemorrhage has occurred.
  2. Diseases that cause impaired conduction of the spinal cord: trauma, late stages of vertebral dorsopathy, for example, intervertebral hernia, infectious diseases of the spine.
  3. Leprosy and other diseases

You never asked yourself: why do we feel pain?

This question has always been very worried about neuropathologists, neurosurgeons and other doctors. After all, knowing why pain occurs, you can think of a defense mechanism against it. Thus arose the famous analgesics, and then more powerful substances that allow you to deal with pain symptoms.

We feel pain thanks to special receptors - the nerve endings with which all the nerves of our peripheral nervous system are equipped.. The cobweb of nerves enmeshes the entire surface of our body. With this, nature protected us from harmful external influences, arming us with reflexes: it hurts us — we withdraw our hand. This is due to the delivery of a signal to the brain by the irritated receptor and the subsequent lightning-fast response reflex from it.

The deeper, the less the sensitivity of the nerves. They are already programmed for another task: protecting the spine and internal organs. The spine is protected by the nerve roots coming out of the spinal cord, and the internal organs by the vegetative nervous system, which is arranged reasonably, with different sensitivity for different organs.

Exposing the myths of pain

3. Pain is not a feature of psychosomatics.

Often people add the prefix "psycho" to any thing that is not obvious. Therefore, quite often, when something hurts, and we do not understand why this happens, we declare that the origin of pain is psychological.

In fact, psychosomatics is the result of the very dual approach mentioned at the beginning of the article. We are talking about the separation of the brain from the body.

This concept is based on erroneous views, the source of which are pre-scientific times when the functioning of the organism was described and limited to the scope of movement. various liquids .

Watch the video: Meet The Nurse Who Feels Other Peoples Pain Literally. Megyn Kelly TODAY (January 2020).