Pain is an inevitable part of life and is something everyone deals with from time to time. However, when deciding the best approach to treating and minimizing pain it is important for one to understand the differences between acute pain and chronic pain:
Acute Pain is the type of pain the majority of individual experience. It is a temporary pain or discomfort that is brought on by an external factor such as illness or injury. A skinned knee, broken leg, or migraine can all be characterized as acute pain. Most acute pain appears suddenly and disappears after the cause of the pain has been resolved. Pain from a broken leg stops once the leg has healed. Chronic Pain – Long lasting pain is typically characterized as chronic pain.
Chronic pain is a condition that may last for weeks, months, or even years. Many times the pain may start and stop, but chronic pain is typically diagnosed after three to six months of continuous pain. Individuals experiencing chronic pain in many instances may have their central nervous system altered in a fashion that makes them much more sensitive to pain and may feel pain with much greater intensity. Where acute pain is typically brought on by an external factor such as injury or sickness, chronic pain in many instances is can be considered an actual disease or sickness.