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Which of These Two Types of Pain Do You Have?

When we’re in pain, most of us don’t bother to think about the type of pain we’re experiencing: All we focus on is the pain itself. However, understanding the differences between neuropathic pain and nociceptive pain — the two main types of pain — is essential for ensuring you receive appropriate treatment and fast relief. 

At Easy Reach Chiropractic, Barbara Adonis, DC, and Heather Previll, PT, DPT, specialize in cutting-edge pain management techniques designed to address both types of pain at their practices in Lake Worth and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In this post, learn the differences between nociceptive and neuropathic pain and how we can help you find relief.

Nociceptive pain

Nociceptive pain includes painful sensations stemming from injury or damage to your skin, muscles, bones, or gut tissue. When nociceptive receptors sense painful stimuli in these tissues, they send pain signals to your brain, which interprets those signals as pain.

There are different types of nociceptive pain receptors, with each type designed to respond to different types of simulation — for instance, hot temperatures, irritating chemicals, or pressure. For example, pressing your skin against a hot surface triggers both pressure and temperature receptors.

Nociceptive pain is associated with injuries like:

Nociceptive pain can be acute or chronic, with symptoms ranging from dull aching to sharp pain or cramps.

Neuropathic pain

Like its name implies, neuropathic pain is associated with damage, injury, or dysfunction involving one or more nerves. Sciatica is a familiar example of neuropathic pain, occurring when the long sciatic nerve is “pinched” or irritated where it leaves your lower back.

Unlike nociceptive pain that’s associated with a specific stimulus, nerve pain can occur even without a stimulus being present. Though some neuropathic pain can be related to physical injury, many types of nerve pain arise from diseases or medical conditions, like diabetes, multiple sclerosis, cancer, or stroke. 

Some people develop nerve pain following amputation, even though the affected limb is no longer there.

Managing nociceptive and neuropathic pain

Chiropractors are uniquely trained and positioned to treat both nociceptive and neuropathic pain, and they can also treat both types of pain when they occur together. The goals of treatment are to relieve current symptoms and improve mobility and quality of life, while also helping prevent painful symptoms in the future.

Prior to recommending treatment, our team performs a comprehensive evaluation of your pain to determine the type of pain you’re having and its underlying cause. Next, we work with you to develop a treatment plan focused specifically on your needs and goals.

Many people benefit from treatments like spinal adjustment, massage, or physical therapy to help promote natural healing and reduce irritation that may be contributing to pain. Acoustic shockwave therapy, laser therapy, and other targeted approaches can be effective, as well, along with lifestyle changes to help your body recover.

Relief for your pain

Both neuropathic pain and nociceptive pain can involve complex mechanisms, and most people benefit from a combination of therapies tailored and adjusted to suit their body’s healing responses. 

Bottom line: No matter which type of pain you’re experiencing, our team can help. To learn more, request an appointment online or over the phone with the team at Easy Reach Chiropractic today.

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