Nature of the pain

The nature of the pain may reveal its likely origin. Establish where the pain is worst— whether it is central (proximal) or peripheral. The following are general characteristics and guides to diagnosis:

• aching throbbing pain = inflammation, e.g. sacroiliitis

• deep aching diffuse pain = referred pain, e.g. dysmenorrhoea

• superficial steady diffuse pain = local pain, e.g. muscular strain

• boring deep pain = bone disease, e.g. neoplasia, Paget's disease

• intense sharp or stabbing (superimposed on a dull ache) = radicular pain, e.g. sciatica

A comparison of the significant features of the two most common types of pain—mechanical and inflammatory—is presented in Table 33.4 .

Body Language

Body Language

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