It’s critical for both patient and the doctor to have an understanding of the distinction between chronic pain and acute pain. As an individual with symptoms of pain and discomfort, being affected by persistent continuous pain, with often no apparent cause or reason, can be frustrating.
When does acute pain become chronic pain?
The pain is an indication of tissue that is diseased or wounded, and also the severity of pain that is acute matches with the amount of tissue damage. After the injury has completed healing, the correlating pain subsides. With a disc, once the pressure in the nerve is alleviated, the pain that is acute ceases. For this reason, medical treatment for pain that is acute focuses on healing the reason for the pain. Chronic pain, however, does not function as a protective or other biological purpose (again, that can be referring mainly to the chronic benign pain subtype).
How Chronic Pain Develops
Unlike acute pain, which follows a straightforward route of cause and effect, the course of chronic pain fluctuates widely.
Not all pain that endures will turn into chronic pain, and there is significant variation even among individuals with similar conditions. A condition that appears relatively minor can result in severe pain that is chronic, and also an illness that is serious may not be painful at all.
The efficacy of a specific treatment for chronic pain may often differ from person to person. For instance, a medication or injection for a herniated disc may provide effective pain relief.
As pain moves from the acute phase to the chronic stage, variables unrelated to tissue damage and injury become more important. Ongoing pain signals are just part of this equation. Anxiety, depression, and declines in physical state due to lack of exercise all can have an impact.
Pain Management for Chronic Pain
As chronic pain is now recognized as a main problem, rather than always being a symptom of a disease, the medical specialty of pain management has grown.
Pain management doctors treat all sorts of pain. That all aspects of pain may be treated in precisely the exact same time pain management for chronic pain can be done by a multidisciplinary team. This follows the previous model, including tissue damage (if existing), thoughts and emotions, pain feeling, distress and the environment. This treatment strategy includes doctors that have a background in physiatry or anesthesiology, and psychologists who have training in health psychology. Especially:
- Physiatrists treat conditions that affect movement, focusing on the muscles, nerves, and bones. Physiatrists are sometimes called physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians. Approaches designed to include both the physical and emotional facets of pain control, and are individualized.
- Anesthesiologists perform numerous interventional and minimally invasive procedures to alleviate chronic pain, such as spinal cord and peripheral nerve stimulation and shots directed by x-rays to alleviate pain.
- Clinical health psychologists who specialize in pain control generally work closely with the treating physician. The psychologist focuses on the ideas, emotions, suffering, and environmental problems.
When it comes to any form of pain, including acute pain and chronic pain, among others, it’s essential for the affected individual to seek immediate medical attention, to determine the cause of the symptoms. While some forms of pain may occur without an apparent reason, some relief can be achieved upon further diagnosis and treatment.
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By Dr. Alex Jimenez
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