A variant of nociceptive pain (pain resulting from ongoing activation of primary afferent neurons by noxious stimuli), protopathic pain is transmitted by C fibers to the spinal cord. C-fibers are unmyelinated, small-diameter, and slow-conducting, resulting in poorly localized, dull, aching pain. The fibers are sensitive to mechanical, thermal, and chemical stimuli, resulting in diffuse pain which is particularly sensitive to opioid therapy.
References and Readings
- McCaffery, M., & Pasero, C. (1999). Pain clinical manual (2nd ed.). St. Louis: Mosby.Google Scholar