1 in 5 adults suffer from pain each year
What is Acute Pain?
Acute pain, for the most part, results from disease, inflammation, or injury to tissues. This type of pain generally comes on suddenly, for example, after trauma or surgery, and may be accompanied by anxiety or emotional distress. The cause of acute pain can usually be diagnosed and treated, and the pain is self-limiting, that is, it is confined to a given period of time and severity. In some rare instances, it can become chronic.
What is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain is widely believed to represent disease itself. It can be made much worse by environmental and psychological factors. Chronic pain persists despite the fact that the injury has healed. Pain signals remain active in the nervous system for weeks, months, or years. Physical effects include tense muscles, limited mobility, a lack of energy, and changes in appetite. Emotional effects include depression, anger, anxiety, and fear of re-injury. Such a fear might hinder a person’s ability to return to normal work or leisure activities.
Depending upon its severity, pain might be treated in a number of ways. Symptomatic options for the treatment of pain might include one or more of the following:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), a specific type of painkiller such as Motrin® or Aleve®
- Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol®)
- Narcotics (such as morphine or codeine)
- Localized anesthetic (a shot of a pain killer medicine into the area of the pain)
- Nerve blocks (the blocking of a group of nerves with local anesthetics)
- Electrical stimulation
- Physical therapy
- Psychotherapy (talk therapy)
- Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing
- Biofeedback (treatment technique in which people are trained to improve their health by using signals from their own bodies)
- Behavior modification