If you've ever been asked about the quality of your pain and you've had difficulty answering that question, this is a must read. The quality and intensity of pain is important for any health care provider to understand in order to administer the best treatment available. The problem is that sometimes patients have a difficult time expressing the nuances of their pain, which is understandable because generally people don't learn that there are different kinds of pain. Below are all the different kinds of pain and their Chinese medical explanations.
Distending Pain - This pain manifests as severe distention, mild and moving from place to place. It is a sign of Qi stagnation and usually occurs in the chest, abdomen and head.
Pricking Pain - Also known as sharp pain, this kind of pain is usually fixed in location. It is a sign of blood stagnation and is usually located in the chest and abdomen.
Weighty Pain - This kind of pain feels heavy and is a sign of dampness blocking Qi and Blood (think swelling). This pain can present in the head, limbs and lower back.
Burning Pain - This pain feels like a burn but may not present as a physical burn. Usually there's a preference for coolness in the abdomen with this kind of pain and it relates to excess fire or heat due to excess yang or yin deficiency.
Cold Pain - This is the opposite of burning pain. It can present in the head, low back and abdomen and can be caused by cold exposure or lack of warmth in the organs and meridians due to a deficiency of yang.
Dull Pain - This is probably the most common kind of pain. It's not severe. It's bearable but lingers for a long period of time. It's usually present in cold syndromes or deficiencies.
If any of these explanations are confusing, that's okay. Think about how a paper cut feels different than burning your hand on an oven rack, or how an ankle sprain feels different than a pounding headache. If your words for describing the pain your experiencing don't align with the descriptions above, do your best to describe the pain in your own words. Likely as you explain what you're feeling in more detail, it'll help the health care practitioner to better understand what you're experiencing.