4 Differences Between Acute Pain & Chronic Pain

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817976_injuryScientists have no clear definition of physical pain.

They are clear that it is” far more than neural transmission and sensory transduction. “[1]

 Pain is classified as either acute or chronic.  

Acute pain is the result of an injury or disease that is treatable and lasts up to six months. Chronic pain is the result of a myriad of conditions or no known condition, lasts longer than six months and is often resistant to medical treatment.

See the following chart for more information.

4 Differences Between Acute & Chronic Pain

Type of pain Acute:Usually sharp & severe Chronic:Intensity and level of pain cycles from no pain to unpleasant pain to pain that is a dull ache, burning, and/or stabbing/shooting sensations. These are just a few of the types of pain sensations. Its one identifiable trait is that pain is constant in coming back
How long it lasts Up to 6 months Over 6 months
How it originates Injured or diseased tissue Previous injury, trauma, disease, syndrome, often the cause is unknown. Acute pain can lead to chronic pain. 
Purpose of Pain To warn of disease or injury and that medical intervention is needed Difficult to ascertain. Often pain does not point to a treatment that will alleviate the pain or any medical condition.
Healing process Pain goes away as tissue heals. It is treatable. No predictable pattern of healing with no predictable course of treatment that always works. Pain may never resolve.

Related Article: 1 out 3 People Suffer From Chronic Pain


[1]says Kathryn Weiner, director of the American Academy of Pain Management: http://www.livescience.com/health/060131_pain_truths.html

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Entry filed under: chronic pain, Learning, Main. Tags: .

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