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Aspects of modern pain therapy

For there was never yet philosopher that could endure the toothache patiently.

William Shakespeare

Prof. Dr. Dr. Gerd Geisslinger, Director of the Institute for Clinical Pharmacology

Pain is one of the most frequent symptoms of local tissue damage or disease and is the most common reason for visiting a doctor. Based on how it arises, pain can be roughly divided into three types: Acute physiological pain, which comprises a warning function and is essential for survival, ensuring that injuries are noticed to avoid consequential mutilation.Inflammation pain arises in the context of tissue damage (inflammation), and neuropathic pain arises when nerves are damaged by crushing or compression (e.g. slipped disc), severing (e.g. following an amputation) or disease (e.g. shingles, diabetes). While acute pain primarily has a vital warning and protective function, and represents an important indicative symptom for the doctor making a diagnosis, chronic pain serves no purpose, and for the affected patient is an agonizing burden. Reliable pain relief therefore becomes particularly important. The prerequisites for successful application of painkillers are analyzing the type, duration and symptoms of pain, and taking into account containdications.

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