Everyone experiences pain at one point or another. Pain often is an indication that something is wrong – which might be caused by trauma, fractures, sprains, surgery, joint or back pain, arthritis, infection or chronic musculoskeletal pain. Each individual is the best judge of his or her pain – and the interpretation of pain can range from mild and occasional to severe and constant.
What is Acute Pain?
Acute pain begins suddenly and is usually sharp in quality. It serves as a warning of disease or a threat to the body. Acute pain may be caused by many events or circumstances, such as: trauma, injuries, broken bones, sprains, surgery, joint pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, musculoskeletal pain, pinched nerves, dental work, burns or cuts, or labor and childbirth.
Acute pain may be mild and last just a moment, or it may be severe and last for weeks or months. In most cases, acute pain does not last longer that six months and it disappears when the underlying cause of pain has been treated or has healed. Unrelieved acute pain, however, may lead to chronic pain.
What is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain may persist longer than three months – often despite the fact that an injury has healed. These pain signals can remain active in the nervous system for weeks, months, or years. Some physical effects may include tense muscles, limited mobility, a lack of energy, and changes in appetite. Emotional effects include depression, anger, anxiety, and the fear of re-injury. Such a fear may hinder a person's ability to return to normal work or leisure activities. Common chronic pain complaints include: headache, low back pain, arthritis pain, joint pain, muscle pain, neurogenic pain (pain resulting from damage to nerves), or psychogenic pain (pain not due to past disease or injury).
Chronic pain may have originated with an initial trauma, injury, or infection, or, there may be an ongoing cause of pain. However, some people suffer chronic pain in the absence of any past injury or evidence of body damage.
The Pain Management specialists at Oakland Regional Hospital focus on evaluating and treating pain conditions. The goal – to help our patients improve and achieve a better quality of life through the reduction in their pain and an improvement in their ability to function in daily activities – progressing to living a better lifestyle. Click below to make an appointment for a consultation. Or, call the Appointment Hotline at 248-423-8484.