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Pain - Chronic or Acute

Updated on May 16, 2020
Pamela99 profile image

After 22 years as an RN, I now write about medical issues and new medical advances. Diet, exercise, treatment, and lifestyle are important.

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Pain Overview

The Pain Research Core (PRC) at John Hopkins Hospital s is an important multidisciplinary team that is dedicated to research on pain. Any type of pain, whether chronic or acute, is uncomfortable. John Hopkins Hospital is doing ongoing research to identify new drug targets and to develop new novel analgesics.

Pain is classified as either acute or chronic. Acute pain is usually severe and short-lived, and it is typically a signal that your body has been injured. Chronic pain ranges from mild to severe, and it can be present for long periods of time. It is often the result of a disease that may require ongoing treatment.

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What Pain is Treated at John Hopkins?

Currently, the best way to treat the pain is to manage the symptoms. If the source of your pain can’t be treated or isn’t known, their pain medicine specialists can offer options for pain control.

“At the Johns Hopkins Blaustein Pain Treatment Center, we provide treatment for the following types of pain:

  • Low back pain
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Vertebral Compression Fractures
  • Cervical and lumbar facet joint disease
  • Sciatica/Radiculopathy ("pinched nerve")
  • Sacroiliac joint disease
  • Failed back surgery pain (FBSS) / Post-Laminectomy Neuropathic Pain
  • Neuropathic (Nerve) pain
  • Head pain / Occipital neuralgia (Scalp/head pain)
  • Hip pain
  • Intercostal neuralgia (Rib pain)
  • Peripheral neuropathy (Diabetic nerve pain)
  • Complex regional pain syndrome (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy - RSD)
  • Herniated discs and degenerative disc disease (discogenic pain)
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder and knee arthritic pain (osteoarthritis)
  • Myofascial (Muscular) pain
  • Post surgical pain
  • Cancer pain (pancreatic, colorectal, lung, breast, bone)
  • Pain from peripheral vascular disease
  • Anginal pain (chest pains)
  • Post-herpetic neuralgia (shingles pain)
  • Nerve entrapment syndromes
  • Spasticity related syndromes/ pain
  • Spinal Cord Injury (central pain)
  • Pelvic pain
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome”

As you can see from this list, there are numerous types of pain that need treatment. Pain is often caused by a debilitating medical problem. Pain is complicated and may have a huge impact on your physical and mental well-being. A comprehensive range of services are offered at the Johns Hopkins Blaustein Pain Treatment Center. They support acute and chronic pain.

Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection

Multispeciality of Physicians

Pain management doctors along with neurologists, oncologists and all other types of doctors work to give their patients independence, along with comfort as they work together.

The John Hopkins researchers strive to understand exactly how pain works and how to manage it. They believe their collaboration is the key to advancing their understanding of the pain process.

These physicians state they have uncovered the synergy between the anatomic nerves, the sensory nerves, the non-neuronal cells and the specific molecules within the various cell types.

Factors About Pain

  1. The cell types contribute to both the initial occurrence of pain and the neuroplastic events that allow pain to outlive its usefulness after an injury.
  2. The spinal cord acts as a “gatekeeper” for all pain sensations as it coordinates and processes the variety of pain signals.
  3. Detailed recordings from the surface of the brain maps various sensory stimuli to learn how the brain can distinguish the difference between a loving stroke and a burn.
  4. The researchers have conducted animal and human studies to uncover “how nerve stimulation can paradoxically interfere with pain transmission-what works, and why.”
  5. As pain is a feared symptom, which can be devastating to human lives, this work attracts the bright minds of medicine and also generous support.

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Procedures to Treat Pain

Steroid injections are often used to treat pain as steroids reduce inflammation and pain. Steroids are often injected into an epidural space to relieve neck, back, leg or arm pain. Radiofrequency ablation is another pain relieving technique. This procedure is a medical procedure that can be done in an outpatient setting.A part of the electrical conduction system in a tumor, the heart or in another dysfunctional tissue is ablated, which uses heat of medium frequency with an alternating current (from 350-500 kHz).

Sympathetic nerve blocks and sympathetic nerve neurolysis (ablation) can be done in the following areas:

  • Stellate Nerve block
  • Celiac Plexus block
  • Lumbar Sympathetic Plexus block
  • Superior Hypogastric Plexus block
  • Ganglion Impar block

Some of the other techniques to relieve pain include:

  • Neuromodulation (acts directly on the nerve) for the following areas
  • Spinal Cord Stimulation
  • Sacral Nerve Root Stimulation
  • Peripheral Nerve Stimulation
  • Intrathecal Medication delivery

Vertebral Interventions for Compression Fractures

Peripheral Nerve blocks in numerous areas

Injections in the joints

Bursa infectives

Trigger Point Injections

Botox Injections

Cervical Facet Radiofrequency Neurotomy - Neck

Prepare for a Procedure

The guidelines for a procedure include nothing to eat or drink twelve hours prior to the procedure. Take your prescribed medication. You need someone to drive you home and you will probably be discharged following the procedure.

In Conclusion

The Pain Research Core (PRC) at John Hopkins Hospital is making strides in the treatment of pain. There is still a long way to go but some of the procedures do adequately relieve pain so the patient may postpone surgery for a long period of time. If you have chronic pain it would be a good idea to see if a pain doctor can relieve your discomfort enough that you can postpone any major surgery for an indefinite period of time.

Acute or Chronic

I deal with acute or chronic pain quite often.

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2020 Pamela Oglesby

Comments

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  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Maria,

    I think you are teaching your students very well. I remember how I felt after having a hysterectomy and I had my ovaries removed. Back then they would give you a shot of Demeral but not too quickly after you were transferedfrom surgery to your room. I never knew how much it hurt to have a big surgery until then and it changed my whole perspective toward my patients. It is good to understand what your patients are experiencing and to have compasion for their pain.

    I appreciate your comments, Maria. Stay safe and healthy. Love and hugs to you.

  • marcoujor profile image

    Maria Jordan 

    2 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

    Dear Pamela,

    This comprehensive article really shows the prevalence and effects of pain - whether chronic or acute.

    Like you, I have found relief for my arthritis with Diclofenac Sodium Topical Gel 1%. I also use Lidocaine patches episodically when my back or neck flares up.

    I encourage my students to take patients' complaints of pain seriously, especially as most are fortunate enough not to personally understand chronic pain. I also stress good body mechanics for them so their lives will remain as pain-free as possible.

    Another valuable share - thanks!

    Love,

    Maria

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Alyssa,

    Ibuprofen and Icy Hot are good products. I am glad you don't need anything stronger. I appreciate your comments. Stay heathy!

  • Alyssa Nichol profile image

    Alyssa 

    2 months ago from Ohio

    That's an extensive list that they handle! How wonderful! It was interesting to learn the areas of the brain where pain is processed. I feel fortunate that I can manage with over the counter products. I sometimes joke that I should buy stock in ibuprofen and Icy Hot. ha!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Shauna,

    I am glad to hear you are basically free from any chronic pain. Thank you for your comments.

    Stay safe ad healthy!

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 

    2 months ago from Central Florida

    I'm fortunate to not live with pain. Sure, every now and then something gets out of whack and my body lets me know, but in general, I'm pain free.

    I'm very thankful for that.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Peggy,

    I hope you have smething to relieve you arthritic pain. You might try diflucan ointment as it helps my arthritic. Thank you for your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Ruby,

    I am glad you are not one of us with chronic pian. I appreciate your comments abut the article.

  • always exploring profile image

    Ruby Jean Richert 

    2 months ago from Southern Illinois

    I guess I'm one of the lucky ones who has little pain, but thankful that the specialty Doctors are able to relieve pain. Very informative article, written in an understandable way.

  • Peggy W profile image

    Peggy Woods 

    2 months ago from Houston, Texas

    It is good that there are specialists in pain management. Living with pain on a daily basis can impact the quality of life in so many ways. Arthritis is the cause of my pain, but it is manageable so far. Take care!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Rajan,

    I agree with you. No one wants to be in pain and I am also glad they are trying so hard to treat it. Thanks so much for your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Clive,

    It is that and I get so tired of even hearing about it on the news. I appreciate your comments.

  • clivewilliams profile image

    Clive Williams 

    2 months ago from Jamaica

    Pain...right now this Covid 19 is the main facilitator.

  • rajan jolly profile image

    Rajan Singh Jolly 

    2 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

    It is heartening to learn that research for pain management is an ongoing process. Any pain is uncomfortable and providing relief as soon as possible is of paramount importance.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Linda,

    I was glad to learn John Hopkins was working so hard t treat pain. I appreciate your comments.

    Stay safe and healthy.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Miebakagh, I hope you have a good week and stay safe also.

  • Miebakagh57 profile image

    Miebakagh Fiberesima 

    2 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

    Pamela, you're welcomed. Stay safe and enjoy the week.

  • AliciaC profile image

    Linda Crampton 

    2 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

    I feel so sorry for people in pain. The situation can have a major effect on a person's life. Thank you for sharing the information, Pamela. It sounds like John Hopkins Hospital is doing good work.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi MG,

    I guess everyone does experience pain at one time or another. Thank you for your comments.

  • emge profile image

    MG Singh 

    2 months ago from Singapore

    Very exhaustive write up on pain. Some form of pain is experienced by all humans and got have given a wealth of information

  • Carb Diva profile image

    Linda Lum 

    2 months ago from Washington State, USA

    I have that too and it does offer some relief but only when I don't move.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Linda, I use an ointmernt that helps with arthritic type pain and it helps my hands. It is called Diciofenac Sodium Topical Gel 1%. Maybe your doctor would prescribe it for you as it does relieve some of the pain I hope it might help you. Blessings to you.

  • Carb Diva profile image

    Linda Lum 

    2 months ago from Washington State, USA

    Pamela, thank you for your kind words. My pain is in my hands, thumbs, and wrists. Everything that I do, even just holding a book, requires using my hands. When this Covid-thing settles down I will look for another physician.

    Thank you and blessings to you.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Linda,

    I am sotty to hear you are in constant pain. Have you tried a pain specialist? It would need to be one with a good reputation. You don't have much to lose and you also might try doiing some stretches each morning also as they are suppose to help.

    That is also what is happening to me thanks to 2 failed back surgeries. I have found some help from my pain doctor. It doesn's last but it feels better for a while anyway.

    I wish you the best and hope you improve. I know your faith helps as mine helps me but it doesn't necessarily take the pain away. It just gives you some peace. Be blessed, Linda.

  • Carb Diva profile image

    Linda Lum 

    2 months ago from Washington State, USA

    Pamela, pain has become a normal part of my life, a constant companion. I wish at times I could turn the clock back to even just two years ago. The pain I complained about then was significantly less. My rheumatologist doesn't offer any hope. It's all very discouraging.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Miebakagh,

    I am glad to know that doctors are working so hard to treat all types of pain. Thank you so much for your comments.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Bill.

    It is definitely ard to see people in pain and gratitude is a wonderful thing. I am glad you are healthy, Bill. I appreciate your comments.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 

    2 months ago from Olympia, WA

    I see people while I'm out walking who are obviously in pain. It's almost painful to watch, you know? Just one more reason to practice gratitude for this body of mine.

  • Miebakagh57 profile image

    Miebakagh Fiberesima 

    2 months ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

    Pamela, pain like any other disease required a qualified specialist for it's treatment. Thank goodness something special is going on at the John Hopkin hospital. All the pain you mentioned are terrific. Very informative article.Thanks for sharing.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Flourish,

    It sounds like your MS is in remission and my lupus is in remissions as well. I wish that meant no pain for both of us, but it doesn't. Migraines can be very painful and the injection you describe is great for relief. I am glad there is a way for you to get relief, even if it is an injection by a pain specialist. I appreciate you sharing your personal experience and commenting.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Rosina,

    I was glad to read about all the research for various types of pain. Your comments are appreciated. Have a nice Sunday.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Chitrangeda,

    I have found that chronic nerve pain is the hardest to tolerate. I am glad they are finding new ways to treat various types of pain. I appreciate your comments and I am glad you found this article informative.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Devika,

    I was especially interested in all the new treatments of pain also. I am glad you found this article informative, Thank you for your comments.

  • DDE profile image

    Devika Primić 

    2 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    Pain acute or chronic can be treated, I understand the causes of pain and of how to treat it from this informative hub. I heard of chronic and acute pain but not as detailed as you have written here.

  • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

    Chitrangada Sharan 

    2 months ago from New Delhi, India

    Great information about the different kinds of pain, and how PRC is working to relieve the people affected by this.

    I feel sorry for those ,who have chronic pain. The normal types can be managed, I believe, by following a healthy lifestyle and proper diet and rest.

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience, through this helpful article.

  • surovi99 profile image

    Rosina S Khan 

    2 months ago

    This is a useful article, knowing about the types of pain in a human body and the treatments that can be used to relieve the pain. It's good to know there is ongong reseach still going on to relieve pain. Thanks for sharing, Pamela.

  • FlourishAnyway profile image

    FlourishAnyway 

    2 months ago from USA

    I used to live with a high level of persistent daily pain but it has largely subsided now as clinical evidence my MS has oddly receded. I do have painful migraines but they seem to be stress-triggered so at least I know who (I mean what) causes them. The pandemic has not helped. I often find that I can sleep them off with migraine meds and a special ice pack that I call my headache hat. On rare occasion I get very painful occipital headaches and must get a nerve block (a special injection in the back of the head/neck by a pain specialist or my neurologist). It’s magically, instantly gone. Living in constant pain is a difficult experience, very limiting socially, emotionally, and challenging on a practical and physical angle as well.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Lorna,

    Chronic pain is horrendous. I hope they come up with more treatments from chronic pain. Thank you so much for your nice comments.

  • Lorna Lamon profile image

    Lorna Lamon 

    2 months ago

    To live with chronic pain is so debilitating and affects every facet of the persons life. It is reassuring to know that pain research being carried out at this hospital will make such a difference to those who suffer with pain of any kind. Such an interesting and informative read.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Liz,

    Your last statement is so true. Chronic pain is hard to live with for anyone. I appreciate your comments, Liz.

  • Eurofile profile image

    Liz Westwood 

    2 months ago from UK

    It is encouraging to find out from your article how much progress is being made in pain management. I have sometimes noticed that there is a fine balancing act between adeqate pain relief and alertness. Chronic pain robs sufferers of quality of life.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Andrienne,

    There have definitely been advances when you see a pain doctor. I appreciate your comments.

    Stay safe and healthy.

  • alexadry profile image

    Adrienne Farricelli 

    2 months ago

    I was surprised to read about so many different procedures for pain. I have never heard about many that you have listed. There sure have been many advances in this field. If these procedures can help manage pain enough, hopefully surgery can be avoided.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    2 months ago from Sunny Florida

    Hi Linda,

    Hawaii sounds good to me. I have had those injections a few times and they do help me. Thanks for commenting,

    Stay safe and healthy!

  • lindacee profile image

    Linda Chechar 

    2 months ago from Arizona

    I have had cortisone hip joint injections a couple of times. My hips are painful during the winter. I need to move to Hawaii so it's nice and warm all year round! That would be wonderful!

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