When you are dealing with pain, your priority will be to find relief. Finding relief involves determining the cause of the pain. If your pain does not have an immediately obvious cause, your doctor will probably ask you to describe it. He or she will want a lot of information including its location and intensity as they try to determine whether your pain is muscle pain or nerve pain.
What is Muscle Pain?
Muscle pain is also called musculoskeletal pain and it falls into the category of nociceptive pain. This type of pain occurs because tissues have been damaged. Nociceptors are the sensory nerve endings that detect damage to tissue. Nociceptive pain may be caused by anything from a broken bone to a cut or a burn.
Muscle pain usually changes depending on your movement and position. Sometimes laughing or breathing deeply will worsen it. Muscle pain can become chronic pain if the inflammation or injury that causes it does not heal. Chronic pain is pain that persists over a long period. UC Davis Health defines it as pain that lasts for longer than three months or longer than the time it normally takes for tissue to heal.
Commonly prescribed treatments for muscle pain include resting the injured muscles, applying heat or cold and using anti-inflammatory medications.
What is Nerve Pain?
Treatment for nerve pain often involves the use of a variety of medications, as well as implantable devices such as spinal cord stimulators. Nerves are the pathways by which signals travel to and from the brain. If the pathways are damaged, the signals they transmit may be abnormal. Nerve pain may be caused by a disease like diabetes, multiple sclerosis, or HIV. It can also result from stroke or damage to the central nervous system. Sometimes nerve pain occurs because the nervous system is malfunctioning, not because of a painful stimulus. People suffering from nerve pain often describe the sensation as being similar to an electric shock or a burning sensation.
Treatment for nerve pain often involves the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. The medications used to treat nerve pain work by making the nerves less excitable. Physical therapy and acupuncture may also be prescribed.
Call The Pain Center to See a Pain Specialist
Our pain specialists undergo extensive training to understand the root cause of acute and chronic pain and treat it accordingly. We will work with you to suggest the best treatment options for your condition. Dr. Sandra Thompson has 28+ years of experience and is an expert in managing chronic pain for back, neck and body.
If you’re looking for expert care to help reduce and relieve pain as well as improve your overall quality of life, our pain specialists can diagnose underlying conditions and prescribe treatments that will help you to control your pain and regain a reasonable quality of life. Contact us today to make an appointment for a consultation with our pain specialists at The Pain Center.