Throbbing, burning, aching, stinging the terms patients use to describe pain are often different because pain is personal and subjective. Pain is influenced by:
- race / ethnicity
- psychosocial factors
The International Association for the Study of Pain defines it as an unpleasant experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage to a person's body.
Acute Vs. Chronic Pain
There are two basic forms of physical pain:
- acute pain
- chronic pain
Acute pain, for the most part, results from disease, inflammation, or injury to tissues. It is immediate and usually of a short duration. Acute pain is a normal response to injury and may be accompanied by anxiety or emotional distress. The cause of acute pain can usually be diagnosed and treated.
Chronic pain is continuous pain that persists for more than 3 months, and beyond the time of normal healing. Chronic pain ranges from mild to severe and can last weeks, months, or years to a lifetime. The cause of chronic pain is not always evident, although it can be brought on by chronic conditions such as:
Chronic pain can often interfere with a patients quality of life, sleep, and productivity. Despite the adverse affects of chronic pain, it is often poorly managed.