Pain is an uncomfortable feeling triggered in the nervous system. The International Association for the Study of Pain defines it as ‘An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage’. Pain is a very common symptom reported by general population and a challenging disorder for the physicians to treat. Pain that lasts for a longer period of time interferes with daily activities and in severe cases may lead to permanent work disability. Persistent pain is considered a major health problem, as it sometimes requires expensive treatments, surgery or use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM).
Feeling of pain is uniquely individual as it varies from person to person and also depends on the type of body part involved. It depends on a variety of biological, psychological, and social factors. Different population groups experience pain differentially. In some patients, the pain can be mild and occasional while in other cases it can be severe and constant. The spectrum of pain is really broad and includes pain of different intensities and duration. Pain can be caused during childbirth, severe trauma, surgery, or in conditions such as cancer.