Sharp pain

One of the many ways to hurt oneself is with sharp objects. The defensive resources of the neuronal network have been selected to address specific danger situations. In nature there are sharp objects: prickles, splinters, thorns. They can contact with our species and cause problems. The nocivity detecting neurons (nociceptors) are capable of localizing precisely the attack by a sharp object and releasing a motor response of pincer grip that, even with our eyes closed, removes the pointy attacker.

Inside, there is nothing like the thorns, and a pincer grip doesn’t make sense. Aggressive internal events are not precisely located, and pain doesn’t help to show exactly where the problem is.

Pain is often expressed in the form of sharp pain without needing to have been attacked with something sharp. It’s an acute pain, very localized, intense, temporary. It usually generates anxiety due to it’s strange character. There may be sharp pain everywhere. They are common in the head and chest.

Sharp pain encourages us to ask the doctor about it, due to our worry about its possible origin. Sharp features are a sign of banality for professionals, of absence of “organicity” … once the sharp objects are discarded in the area of the sharp pain.

At the time when everything was interpreted as vascular, it was said that sharp pain was produced by  arterial spasms, completely unfounded. They also resort to the explanation of muscle spams, but muscular pain generates a very different, poorly localized, dull pain.

After sharp pain, there is usually nothing abnormal. Just an escape of painful perception from a nociceptive system on alert, in the absence of damage.

Sharp pain can be annoying, but don’t worry. If doubts persist, the doctor’s office is inevitable. I can’t recall any case in which someone with sharp pain actually had something. Scans were are asked in order to solve the doubt and, invariably, they were normal.

Sharp pain is frequent, annoying, disturbing … Things are not as they seem, again. Sharp pain is usually banal and the only thing it indicates is that there is an active alert somewhere.

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This entry was posted in sharp pain by arturo goicoechea. Bookmark the permalink.

About arturo goicoechea

Born in Mondragón, Guipúzcoa, in 1946. Head of the Neurology Department at the Santiago Hospital in Vitoria (Álava), Spain. Published books: Jaqueca, 2004. Depresión y dolor, 2006. Cerebro y dolor (Esquemas en dolor neuropático) 2008. Migraña, una pesadilla cerebral, 2009.

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