Pain can be
broken down into two categories: acute pain, such as a cut on the leg, a
tension headache, or a bone fracture, and chronic pain, pain which lasts longer
and can be more serious. Let’s take a look at the major differences between the
Acute pain is
normal pain that lets the body know it’s been hurt. For example, breaking a
leg, banging an elbow into a door, or putting a hand on a hot plate and feeling
the burn are all considered good pain because the body is announcing that an
injury has occurred.
starts suddenly and usually doesn’t last long. When the injury heals, the pain
stops. For example, a broken leg will hurt during recovery, but will get better
as time goes on.
pain, the pain itself actually becomes a disease. When the injury heals and the
patient continues having pain beyond the time of expected recovery, that’s
lasts for weeks, months, even years. Generally, it’s diagnosed after three to
six months of pain. In some cases, the pain comes and goes. With chronic pain,
one’s nervous system is sometimes altered, making it more sensitive to pain. As
a result, painful sensations might feel more severe and last longer.
In some cases,
certain chronic diseases cause chronic pain. Arthritis, for example, and
cancer, diabetes, and fibromyalgia are other diseases that can cause continuing
doctors cannot always find the cause of chronic pain. In a minority of cases,
the cause is unclear. Patients should talk to their doctor about their pain if
the pain lasts longer than reasonably expected. Some guidelines have defined
“chronic pain” as pain that lasts longer than 3-6 months, but
whenever pain lasts longer than reasonably expected, it’s crucial to treat it
to keep it from worsening into chronic pain. An example of this would be a
small cut or burn which normally wouldn’t cause pain after a month; if it does,
a doctor should be called rather than waiting for three months.
disorders that cause chronic pain should also talk to their doctors about
treatments that provide relief or help them to cope with pain. Treatments
include pain relievers and other medications, acupuncture, biofeedback,
relaxation training, hypnosis, distraction techniques, and transcutaneous
electrical nerve stimulation. With this last method, patients use a TENS device
to pass a mild electrical current through the skin to reduce pain.
with pain don’t need to see a pain specialist, but if pain lasts much longer
than expected, or a primary care doctor or specialist hasn’t been able to treat
the chronic pain satisfactorily, asking for a referral to a pain specialist may
go to a physician specifically trained in pain so they’ll receive a medical
exam to diagnose their problem, as well as proper pain management. Typically,
these pain specialists come from the fields of neurology, anesthesia,
psychiatry, and physical medicine and rehabilitation. Then they undergo
additional training in pain medicine.
If you suffer from chronic pain due to any condition or
injury, find hope at The Pain Center of Arizona! Our dedicated team of board
certified pain management physicians will work with you to treat your pain,
increase your functionality and quality of life, and get you back into life! We
have locations across Arizona, including Phoenix, Anthem, Surprise, Mesa,
Gilbert, Deer Valley, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, and now Prescott and Tucson!
We take multiple insurance plans; click here
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getting back into life, call us today at 1-888-PAINCENTER. We hope to see you
advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes
only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or
judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned
here or in any other educational medical material.