PAIN AND INFLAMMATION
Pain is an unpleasant stimulus that signals ongoing damage to cells or tissues. It is activated to preserve the affected structures, preventing further actual or possible damage. However, in some cases, pain (acute or chronic) may occur even in the absence of ongoing injury.
The perception of pain is subjective and varies depending on the site, quality and intensity of the stimulus.
Low back pain (also known as lumbago) is the most common type of pain and affects about half of all chronic or continuous pain sufferers, followed by joint pain and rheumatism.
Usually, pain is also accompanied by inflammation (or phlogosis), which is a specific defence mechanism put in place by the immune system to eliminate or render harmless the agent that caused the injury, while also allowing the damaged tissue to repair itself. Symptoms that may accompany the inflammatory state, in addition to pain, are redness, heat, swelling and/or exudate, with impaired function of the affected area.
Causes include external physical agents, microorganisms or chemicals, but an abnormal immune response to the body’s own tissues or cells may also be triggered.