Notes on pain

It is useful to dwell briefly on the subject of pain, as it has always been a point of particular clinical interest due to its hampering nature.

Pain is a complex sensation, which originates from the sensitive nerve terminals of the pain zone. The pain is then recognised and codified by the central nervous system which in its turn combats or lessens it.

Pain is caused by tissue alteration either due to a MECHANIC or INFLAMMATORY factor.

The inflammation or phlogosis consists in the organism liberating itself from so-called phlogogenous substances. Amongst them we underline serotonin, hystamine, chinin, prostaglandins. They are produced in cases of infective, bruised, immunitary or ischemic tissue lesion. These substances are intrinsically vasodilators and their function should be that of fighting the inflammation cause.

Any external intervention, either of a physical, pharmacological or surgical nature must be orientated as far as possible towards the ELIMINATION OF THE CAUSE of the alteration.

The fight against PAIN has always been of great interest in past epochs and above all with different concepts, of pain as a symptom. In fact, pain is the most negative factor, which influences the psychophysical balance of an individual, up to the point of stopping him from recruiting motivations and internal defense energy.

The suppressing of pain often has a positive effect in halting the progress of a serious disease in a patient, either from a psychological viewpoint or from the point of view of allowing an active mobilisation.

In the last 10 years, with the advent of new technology, it has been possible to study the nature and mechanisms of pain in depth, with the objective in mind of being able to condition it.

Amongst the researchers who have contributed in the various epochs to explaining the phenomenons connected to the birth of pain and its suppression, we quote: d’Arsonval (1892), P.Bernard (1929), Le Go (1939), Fischer (1939), Guttman (1942), Nemec (1950), Melzack and Wall (1965), and then Hallin and Torebvjork and Howson (1978).

The “GATE CONTROL” theory of Melzack and Wall currently, is of the most interest. The construction criteria of modern electro-physiotherapical equipment are based on “Gate Control”.