Acute/Chronic Pain

What is meant by acute and chronic pain?

 

Acute pain is the sort of pain that starts immediately after an accident, for instance, if you twist your ankle. The pain you may feel after an operation is also called acute pain. If there are no signs of any tissue damage, for example, because the disease or disorder has already healed, but you still feel pain three months later, this is known as chronic pain.

 

This distinction is not always clear. For example, neuropathic pain involves long-term pain due to damaged nerve tissue and/or nerves that do not function properly. And there are also many cases of pain for which no precise cause is known, which makes it impossible to tell whether the disorder causing it is still there or not.

 

Nevertheless, it is useful to divide pain into acute and chronic. If chronic pain persists for a very long time, it may have all kinds of unpleasant consequences, such as anxiety and depression, which in turn may make the pain worse.