Trauma Survivors Network - provided by ATS

*Types of Pain

Pain has many causes. Sometimes pain is the first or only symptom that indicates the presence of an injury or illness.

While pain severity can be assessed using a scale from 1-10, other characteristics of the painful sensation are also important. A description of what the pain feels like in a patient’s own words (sharp, dull, burning, etc…,) the location of the pain, and what makes it better or worse are some of the factors that doctors and caregivers will use to discover and treat the cause of the pain.

Changes in pain over time are also important, and usually are related to the cause. Often, pain does not go away until the underlying injury or disease has healed or improved. So, improvement in pain can be an important sign of healing, in addition to guiding pain management. Pain that gets worse or changes should be re-evaluated by a doctor.

Please view the index on the left for information on types of pain.