I don’t know if you find it frustrating when talking about pain relief you hear people talking about classifications of pain instead of how to relieve pain. Pain Relief requires no classification whether or not some decide to classify pain. I ran across an United Kingdom article over at healingbackpain.co.uk that gives no information in the article about healing back pain or pain relief of any kind.
Pain Relief Requires No Classification
After many years of research and billions of pounds spent on medical treatments, not to mention more billions in loss of productivity for employers and loss of income for employees, back pain is still an ailment that refuses to be easily classified.
There is an extensive list of possible causes, but physicians generally categorise back pain into three types.
Acute back pain is commonly defined as pain that has been present for up to six weeks; sub-acute lasts six to twelve weeks; chronic defines back pain that lasts more than twelve weeks. As clinical definitions there are also three categories: non-specific back problems, sciatica and potentially serious spinal conditions.
There are also various ‘high risk’ factors for back pain, not a comprehensive list but useful for a preliminary diagnosis. Some of these factors can be lessened by a change in lifestyle, some can’t.
Among the former, the list includes lack of exercise, smoking, overweight, poor posture and ‘desk jobs’ or jobs that require constant lifting or bending or constant vibration (like operating a jackhammer). The latter category includes back injuries, age, gender (male) and spinal defects, amongst others.
The majority of back pain falls in the acute category, namely sprains from overexertion or other events that cause ligaments to stretch too far and/or muscles to tear. Again, in the majority of cases pain goes away within a few days or weeks with rest and without any special treatment. However due to the complexity of the problem, physicians have developed a list of ‘red flags’ that could indicate more serious underlying problems.
A red flag could be pain in the upper part of the spine, or pain accompanied by fever or weight loss, or first-time back pain in someone younger than 20 or older than 55. Other red flags or warning signs include back pain following a violent injury, constant pain that gets worse, and even ‘painless’ symptoms such as loss of sensation or loss of control of bladder or bowels.
If there are no red flags in evidence, conservative treatment or no treatment at all is the usual procedure. The most effective initial course of action for patient and physician is a careful observation of symptoms and examination of the patient’s medical history and general lifestyle.
The truth of the matter pain relief requires no classification because when you relieve pain and eliminate it there is no class to put it in as there is no longer any pain.
Please share this with anyone who is in pain and their doctor is trying to classify what kind of pain it is. Everyone deserves pain relief, not classification.