Nociceptive pain appears as a consequence of the body tissue damage. It is usually described as a sharp, aching, or throbbing pain. This type of pain appears as a result of several factors: benign pathology, tumors or cancer cells that are growing lager and crowding other body parts near the cancer site. Another cause that can trigger nociceptive pain is the cancer spreading to the bones, muscles, or joints, or that causes the blockage of an organ or blood vessels.
Types of nociceptive pain
Nociceptive pain covers usually some specific areas like: leg, arm, and back pain. They’re categorized as either radicular or somatic.
When the nerve roots are irritated, you will immediately feel the radicular pain. It is extremely disturbing as it goes down your arm or leg through a nerve that comes from the the spinal cord.
Radiculopathy is one of the conditions that causes radicular pain. It appears when a nerve is pinched in the spine. The person suffering from radiculopathy will feel numbness, weakness, and tingling or feelings of pins and needles.
Somatic pain happens when any of the pain receptors in your tissues, such as muscles, bone, or skin, are activated. Movement is one of the actions that stimulate this type of pain. It’s usually localized. Headaches and cuts are both considered somatic pain.
Visceral pain happens when internal organs, such as involuntary muscles in the heart, are injured or inflamed. This type of pain is usually described as aching. However, the location for the viscelar pain is yet vague.
Symptoms and treatment
Whenever you will see your doctor to treat you for nociceptive pain, he will first need to find the cause. Based on the cause that produced this pain, he will prescribe your treatment. Unlike neuropathic pain, nociceptive pain frequently responds well to treatment with opiates, such as codeine.
Your pain management is decided based on your symptoms and what caused the pain. Your doctors will assess:
- how intense your pain is
- how long it lasts
- the structures involved in causing the pain
An example of nociceptive pain that’s typically less complex is a nerve root aggravated by a bulging or ruptured disc. This sends pain radiating down your leg or arm. Sometimes an epidural steroid injection combined with physical therapy can relieve the pain. In case this method doesn’t work, your doctor may try one of the following approaches:
- changes to how your medications are managed
- surgical procedures
- physical or chiropractic therapy
- alternative therapies, such as acupuncture
- a referral to other medical specialists