Signs of Pain: Symptoms and Causes


Signs of Pain: Symptoms and Causes to Know

Pain is your body’s neurological signal that something is wrong. It is up to us to decipher what type of pain it is and what it means to treat our symptoms.

When we are dealing with pain early on, should we be quick to label it acute? This might prevent us from locating a chronic pain symptom and set us back in our rehab efforts. While most of the time, we can point to specific trauma for acute pain, this is not always the case. Being able to explain and classify our symptoms will help when seeing a specialist.

Read below for common symptoms and their causes if you’re experiencing pain.

Common Causes of Pain and Injury Relation

Now that we’ve qualified what pain means for your body, it’s essential to understand what causes it most often. If there is an obvious catalyst, such as blunt force trauma or a sports injury, there is not much mystery. However, these symptoms and injuries are usually the most straightforward to treat, as they can be narrowed down easily.

The more difficult pain and injuries to diagnose and rehabilitate are the ones that come on without us having a clear reason. This can include chronic issues such as headaches, neck pain, back pain, and joint degeneration.

For example, having pinched nerve symptoms in your shoulder or chronic back pain may be something you are initially willing to ignore. After all, we aren’t going to rush to a specialist the second there is a tiny bit of discomfort. However, this acts as a double-edged sword: by the time you commit to the idea that something is wrong, you might have allowed an acute source of pain to become a chronic condition.

So what does this mean for self-assessment and understanding causes of pain/symptoms of distress?


To begin with, you should have a mental checklist of common activities that might cause an injury that manifests without alarming you immediately. This includes things like lifting heavy items around the house or at work or sleeping wrong.


One of the most common causes of chronic neck and back issues is poor posture. Due to the slow and lengthy way it affects people, it is important to examine your sitting habits to make sure you do not put yourself at risk. Don’t be one of the 31 million Americans who suffer back injuries related to poor posture each year.

If you are suffering from a dull pain in your neck or back, it is wise to take note of it. The same goes for small pains in your elbows or knees — any of these can be indicative of pinched nerves that can result in chronic pain if not attended to early.

Different Types of Pain

If you are experiencing any pain or symptoms related to these conditions, it is recommended you see a specialist as soon as possible. Take a look at some possible things that might be affecting you:

  • Headaches: An infrequent headache is nothing to be alarmed by. However, as soon as you begin to notice repetitive headaches due to pain or other recurring discomforts, it can be a signal, something is wrong.
  • Post-Surgical Pain: While surgery is known to cause residual pain immediately after the fact, we are more concerned with pain after the initial healing process. This would indicate that something is not healing correctly, or there is a risk of a separate underlying condition.
  • Post-Trauma Pain: For trauma, it is all about assessing if there is residual damage to the affected areas. Blunt force trauma or whole-body incidents can have symptoms that take longer to manifest, and what you might have perceived as acute pain can become a chronic condition without treatment.
  • Muscle Strains: While broad in the sense that your body has many different muscles, the main concern is compensation for injury. While rehabbing an existing injury, it is common to compensate in other areas of your body, which can lead to improper alignment or further damage.
  • Pain Caused by Nerve Irritation:  Nerve irritation is extremely common from sleeping poorly or having bad posture. The pain associated with it can be an indicator that you are doing something passively that is affecting your body, so please do not ignore signs like shooting pains in your neck, back, or other body parts.
  • Nerve Compression: Nerve compression is different from nerve irritation in that it is often caused by another underlying structural issue. These are things like herniated disks or bone spurs, which means you will be dealing with compounding issues that can lead to acute or chronic pain.
  • Degenerative Joints: If you notice pain while walking or running on a consistent basis, it is worth monitoring. These types of pain can be caused by osteoporosis or other age-related conditions and are nothing to ignore.
  • Chronic Diseases: These could include rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, tendonitis, or several other debilitating conditions. The commonality between them is that they will have symptoms that seem like acute pain early but will eventually present as chronic pain. There are wide ranges of treatments available for most chronic pain diseases, but proper diagnosis is crucial early.



Manage Your Pain at Pinnacle Pain and Spine

Regardless of the ailment, it is important to treat pain seriously and understand your symptoms. The best way to truly comprehend what your pain means both short-and long-term is seeing a specialist. They will be able to confirm whether you are suffering acute pain that is imminently treatable, or whether you have to rehab to avoid chronic pain because of your symptoms.

Whatever your pain symptoms are, Pinnacle Pain and Spine has many programs run by expert specialists. Our goal is to help you live a pain-free life or to manage a condition that would otherwise cause you anguish.

Please contact us today if you have pain or injury that requires rehab — we’d love to help.

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