Acute & Chronic Pain

Pain is a signal from the central nervous system indicating that something is wrong. Pain can be differentiated in various ways, including how long it has been occuring: acute pain versus chronic pain.

Acute pain is short-term pain that develops suddenly. It is caused by tissue damage, inflammation, or other disease processes. It tends to be sharp or intense before slowly calming. Acute pain can last for a few seconds or occur for up to six months. The purpose of acute pain is to protect the body from serious injury or further injury.

Chronic pain is any pain that continues for three to six months or after healing would have normally occurred. Pain signals can remain active in the body for months, years, or indefinitely. Chronic pain ranges from mild to severe. It can be caused from an injury, a disease, or an unknown origin.