The following common types of pain are the main reason for physician consultation in the United States. It is a major symptom in many medical conditions, and can significantly interfere with a person’s quality of life and general functioning.
Bones give your body structure. The nerves, muscles and joints are what enables you to move. The nerves are the language that tells your body to move. The muscles are the “movers” and the joints are what keeps everything together. When one of these is not working properly it can be very painful.
Neuralgia is pain that follows the path of a nerve. Your nervous system is involved in everything your body does, from regulating your breathing to controlling your muscles and sensing heat and cold.
There are three types of nerves, or neurons, in the body:
- Autonomic nerves. These nerves control the involuntary or partially voluntary activities of your body, including heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and temperature regulation.
- Motor nerves. These nerves control your movements and actions by passing information from your brain and spinal cord to your muscles.
- Sensory nerves. These nerves relay information from your skin and muscles back to your spinal cord and brain. The information is then processed to let you feel pain and other sensations.
Nerve pain and nerve damage can be mild. But, because nerves are essential to all you do, nerve pain and damage can seriously affect your quality of life.
What Are the Symptoms of Nerve Pain and Nerve Damage?
With nerve damage there can be a wide array of symptoms. Which ones you may have depends on the location and type of nerves that are affected. Damage can occur to nerves in your brain and spinal cord. It can also occur in the peripheral nerves, which are located throughout the rest of your body.
In some instances, people with nerve damage will have symptoms that indicate damage to two, or even three, different types of nerves. For instance, you might experience weakness and burning of your legs at the same time.
Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) is a fancy way to describe muscle pain. It refers to pain and inflammation in the body’s soft tissues. Myofascial pain is a chronic condition that affects the fascia (connective tissue that covers the muscles). Myofascial pain syndrome may involve either a single muscle or a muscle group. In some cases, the area where a person experiences the pain may not be where the myofascial pain generator is located. Experts believe that the actual site of the injury or the strain prompts the development of a trigger point that, in turn, causes pain in other areas. This situation is known as referred pain.
What causes myofascial pain?
Myofascial pain may develop from a muscle injury or from excessive strain on a particular muscle or muscle group, ligament or tendon. Other causes include:
- Injury to intervertebral disc
- General fatigue
- Repetitive motions
- Medical conditions
What are the symptoms of myofacial pain?
Myofascial pain symptoms usually involve muscle pain with specific “trigger” or “tender” points.The pain can be made worse with activity or stress. In addition to the local or regional pain associated with myofascial pain syndrome, people with the disorder also can suffer from depression, fatigue and behavioral disturbances.
How is myofascial pain diagnosed?
Trigger points can be identified by pain that results when pressure is applied to an area of a person’s body. In the diagnosis of myofascial pain syndrome, four type of trigger points can be distinguished:
An active trigger point is an area of extreme tenderness that usually lies within the skeletal muscle and which is associated with a local or regional pain.
A latent trigger point is a dormant (inactive) area that has the potential to act like a trigger point.
A secondary trigger point is a highly irritable spot in a muscle that can become active due to a trigger point and muscular overload in another muscle.
A satellite myofascial point is a highly irritable spot in a muscle that becomes inactive because the muscle is in the region of another trigger pain.
Joint pain can be caused by injury affecting any of the ligaments, bursae, or tendons surrounding the joint. Injury can also affect the ligaments, cartilage, and bones within the joint. Pain is also a feature of joint inflammation (arthritis) and infection. Bursae are fluid-filled cavities near joints where tendons or muscles pass over bony projections. They assist movement and reduce friction between moving parts. Bursitis can be caused by chronic overuse, trauma, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, or infection. Sometimes the cause cannot be determined. Bursitis commonly occurs in the shoulder, knee, elbow, and hip. Other areas that may be affected include the Achilles tendon and the foot. Chronic inflammation can occur with repeated injuries or attacks of bursitis.
Joint pain can be caused by injury or disease of the joint or adjacent tissues. A joint is the area at which two bone ends meet to provide motion to a body part. A typical joint is composed of bones that are separated by cartilage that serves as cushioning pad for the adjacent bones. Ligaments attach bone to bone around the joint. Bursae are fluid-filled sacs that provide a gliding surface for adjacent tendons. Tendons attach muscle to bone around the joint. Injury or disease to any of the structures of the joint can lead to pain in the joint. Joint pain is also referred to as arthralgia.