Aches & Pains

What is an 'Ache'?  

An 'ache' is described by the Oxford English Dictionary as "Continuous or prolonged, dull pain in a part of one's body".  Therefore an 'ache' is a type of 'pain'.

Which brings us on to the question:-

What is Pain?

Pain is defined by 'The International Association for the study of Pain' as "An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage".

In simple terms this means that 'Pain' has both physical and emotional elements to it.

The 'Pain Resource Centre' gives an easy to understand explanation of the types of pain:

"There are two basic types of pain: acute and chronic.

Acute pain occurs for brief periods of time and is associated with temporary disorders. However, it is always an alarm signal that something may be wrong.

Chronic pain is continuous and recurrent. It is associated with chronic diseases and is one of their symptoms.  

Pain intensity not only depends on the type of stimulus that caused it, but also on the subjective perception of the pain. Despite a wide range of subjective perception, several types of pain have been classified according to:

  • The stimulus that caused the pain.
  • The pain's duration.
  • The features of pain (intensity, location, etc.).

  • The main types of pain described by this system of classification are:
  • Gnawing pain. Continuous with constant intensity. It generally worsens with movement.
  • Throbbing pain. This is typical of migraine pain. It is caused by dilation and constriction of the cerebral blood vessels.
  • Stabbing pain. Intense and severe. It is caused by mechanical stimuli.
  • Burning pain. A constant, burning feeling, like, for example, the type of pain caused by heartburn.  
  • Pressing pain. Caused by constriction of the blood vessels or muscles.

There are also specific types of pain:

  • Muscle pain. Also known as myalgia, this pain involves the muscles and occurs after excessive exertion or during inflammation.
  • Colicky pain. Caused by muscle contractions of certain organs, such as the uterus during the menstrual period. Generally cyclic in nature.
  • Referred pain. Occurs when the painful sensation is felt in a site other than the one where it is actually occurring, depending upon how the brain interprets information it receives from the body.
  • Postoperative pain. Occurs after surgery and is due to lesions from surgical procedures."


Remember that whatever your type of 'Ache' or 'Pain' our Osteopaths will seek to find & treat the cause and not just the symptoms -i.e. the sore bit!  Thats why you'll find us working on areas both above and below the bit that hurts.  You may be given soft tissue techniques, stretches, mobilisations & manipulations to other muscles and joints too.

Call us to book a Consultation:-