Classification of Pain

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Classifying pain

Classifying pain

Classification of pain: Classifying pain is helpful to guide assessment and treatment. There are many ways to classify pain and classifications may overlap.

The common types of pain include:

  • Nociceptive: represents the normal response to noxious insult or injury of tissues such as skin, muscles, visceral organs, joints, tendons, or bones.
  • Neuropathic: pain initiated or caused by a primary lesion or disease in the somatosensory nervous system.
  • Inflammatory: a result of activation and sensitization of the nociceptive pain pathway by a variety of mediators released at a site of tissue inflammation.
Clinical Implications of classification

Clinical Implications of classification

Pathological processes never occur in isolation and consequently more than one mechanism may be present and more than one type of pain may be detected in a single patient; for example, it is known that inflammatory mechanisms are involved in neuropathic pain.

There are well-recognized pain disorders that are not easily classifiable.

Our understanding of their underlying mechanisms is still rudimentary though specific therapies for those disorders are well known; they include cancer pain, migraine and other primary headaches and wide-spread pain of the fibromyalgia type.


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