Acute and chronic pain are the main types. Acute pain is directly linked to the underlying injury, illness or condition that caused it. The acute pain should disappear once the injury or illness is treated.
However, chronic pain can persist long after the cause is identified. Conditions such as fibromyalgia or neuralgia are not thought to be related to underlying health problems. Instead, they appear to be separate maladies.
While there are many chronic pain conditions, such as low back pain or arthritis, that can be identified, others are still mysterious. It appears that these chronic pain conditions are caused by a lack of pain signaling from the nervous system.
What is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain refers to pain that lasts more than six months. Although there may be an underlying cause, such as a broken bone or other injury, chronic pain does not necessarily mean that it is permanent. A chronic pain condition is defined as lasting six months. Some experts might say that pain lasts longer than three months. This is because most injuries heal in 3 months, while 6 months allows for residual healing and pain.
Chronic pain can be present at all times or in short episodes. You may notice a change in the severity of your symptoms over time. It is possible for the pain to be so severe that it interferes with your normal activities, such as work, social life, or sleep.
Chronic pain does not respond to treatment for the underlying health problem. Although treatment of the underlying health problem may temporarily relieve the pain, most chronic pain cases will not improve.
According to the National Health Interview Survey, more than 11 percent of Americans, or 25,000,000 people, experienced daily pain for the past three months. Nearly 40 million Americans experience severe pain, whether it is ongoing or intermittent.
The most common types of chronic pain include
- Migraine headaches
- Low back pain
- Pain from cancer
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
How chronic pain differs from acute pain
The most obvious difference between chronic and acute pain is that chronic pain lasts for a shorter time than acute. Chronic pain, on the other hand, can last for many months or even years as continuous or intermittent pain.
While not all chronic pain is mysterious, the majority of chronic pain sufferers cannot pinpoint a cause. Medical practitioners are unable to treat the cause of chronic pain.
Chronic pain also has an emotional component that is absent in acute pain cases. The stress of anticipating another bout can cause brain chemistry changes. This can lead to emotional comorbidities such as anxiety and depression.
These mental illnesses are affected by many of the same neurochemical pathways as long-term chronic pain. If anxiety and depression are not treated, they can amplify and reinforce pain symptoms.
Acute pain has a vital biological function. It alerts us to the presence of damage in our bodies. Chronic pain, on the other hand, seems to have no biological purpose. Instead, it is a dysfunction in the nervous system.
This article was written by a medical professional at Florida Medical Pain Management. Florida Medical Pain Management is proud to offer Pain Management Doctors In St Petersburg Florida. Patients at Florida Medical Pain Management can get help managing hip, knee, leg, and neck pain. The practice also offers comprehensive arthritis management, along with treatments for auto accidents, sports, and work injuries.