Pain is a complex human experience involving multiple neural sites, including peripheral nerves, the spinal cord and higher brain centres. Management is further complicated by the various types such as acute and chronic, nociceptive and neuropathic, migraine, postoperative, musculoskeletal and cancer pain.

There is no clear distinction between neuropathic and nociceptive pain as they often co-exist. Trauma and surgery cause nociceptive as well as neuropathic pain, while pure nerve destruction results in an inflammatory process.

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