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At the Kraus Back and Neck Institute (KBNI), we specialize in non-surgical as well as surgical treatments of Back and Neck Pain.
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Pain Library

A Brief Discussion of Pain

Pain is an unpleasant sensation perceived through the nervous system. It is difficult to measure pain in terms of units. The intensity of the pain (mild- severe), depends upon the tolerance capacity of an individual.

The International Association for the study of pain (IASP) has classified pain based on the following categories:

  • Causes
  • Duration and severity
  • Anatomical site
  • Involved body systems
  • Temporal individuality

According to IASP, pain is defined as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage.

If the cause of pain is not identified, the pain is considered to be psychogenic. Psychogenic pain is difficult to diagnose but can be treated by the following treatment modalities:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Non-narcotic analgesics
  • Antidepressants
  • Combination of the methods mentioned above

Pain is broadly categorized into acute pain and chronic pain. Acute pain occurs abruptly and may last from a few days to weeks and sometimes even for months. Usually the underlying cause for acute pain can be easily diagnosed and treated. Long duration acute pain, not responding to treatment, is considered as chronic pain.

Chronic pain refers to a long-lasting pain that is characterized by emotional reactions such as anxiety, depression and even severe psychosocial complications. The common causes of chronic pain include:

  • Nerve damage
  • Arthritis pain
  • Psychogenic pain
  • Headache pain
  • Other complications

The basic treatment of acute and chronic pain includes:

  • Medications
  • Minimally-invasive or open surgery
  • Physical therapy
  • Psychological therapy
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Massage therapy
  • Biofeedback therapy
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Gary Kraus, MD - Back & Neck Institute
Masaki Oishi, MD
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