What is Nociceptive pain

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Nociceptors are the nerves that sense and respond to damage to the tissues of the body, including muscles, bones, joints, skin or internal organs. When any kind of stimulus injures the body, e.g. cutting your finger, or the inflammation of arthritis, the nociceptors detect it and send the signal to the brain. The skin and joints are highly concentrated with nociceptors, while your internal organs have fewer.
Nociceptic pain is often described as:

• achy
• sharp
• stinging
• throbbing
When most people think of ‘pain’ they are thinking of nociceptive pain. Once the damaged tissue heals, the pain resolves. The notable exception is the inflammation of arthritis, where there is no healing. If the inflammation continues, so does the pain.

Which is why patients with inflammatory arthritis are prescribed some very heavy duty drugs to get the inflammation under control. The inflammation is the source of the pain, and ultimately, damage to the joints and other body tissues.

Severe nociceptic pain generally responds well to opioids, such as morphine or oxycodone.

 

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