In the know: Two kinds of pain

Stressed Out Nurses Weekly, September 13, 2010

When discussing pain and pain relievers it's important to understand two kinds of pain: nocieption (from tissue injury) and neuropathic (from nerve injury). Nocieption is what we usually think of—we stub our toe or get a sunburn and experience nocieption. Tissue is damaged and sends out a signal along intact nerves letting us know of the damage.

Neuropathic pain is different. In this case, the nerve's ability to carry impulses is impaired due to damage. This results in an altered sensation. Have you ever hit your funny bone and felt the burning and tingling sensation in your middle, ring, and little fingers? The fingers were okay even though they were the things that hurt—this is neuropathic pain.

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