Know thy PAIN!

See in PDF Format: Know thy PAIN!

Pain can be classified as ACUTE or CHRONIC.1 Knowing the difference between these types of pain allows your doctor to determine the best treatment for it.


  • Happens suddenly
  • Has a specific cause
  • Sharp in quality
  • Usually resolves in less than 6 months
  • Ceases after its cause is addressed


  • Lasts for more than 6 months
  • Persists even if the underlying injury
  • or cause had already healed
  • May occur even when there is no past
  • injury or apparent body damage

When acute pain resolves, you can return to doing your usual activities.2,3 However, if pain is not treated appropriately, acute pain can become chronic.3

Chronic pain can feel like slow torture:
It can make work, exercise or even taking a bath and dressing yourself difficult.4 Whether acute or chronic, when out of control, pain can take an emotional toll on anyone.4 So the primary goal of treatment should be the return of an individual to one’s optimal function.1

Pain is characterized by inflammation that may vary from one person to another and also in the same person at different times. 5 A successful treatment will result in less inflammation and thus less pain.5

1. MedicineNet. Pain (Acute and chronic). MedicineNet resource page. Available at: Accessed 01 September 2021. 
2. Cleveland Clinic. Acute vs. chronic pain. Cleveland Clinic resource page. Available at: pain%20can%20be%20mild,lasts%20longer%20than%20six%20months. Accessed 01 September 2021. 
3. Southside Pain Specialists. What’s the difference between chronic and acute pain. Southside Pain Specialists resource page. Available at: Accessed 01 September 2021. 
4. Integris Health. Chronic Pain Syndrome. Integris Health resource page. Available at: Accessed 01 September 2021. 
5. Omoigui S. Med Hypotheses 2007;69:1169–1178



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