Pain Is Generally Categorized In "Acute" And "Chronic" Pain

Pain can have numerous sources. In dealing with pain, one must first identify the type of pain (acute or chronic), etiology and causes of pain and the source or sources of pain. By identifying these conditions the management of pain will be in orderly fashion. Physicians must identify the source or sources of pain in order to provide effective treatment.

Acute Pain

Acute pain is due to tissue injury and release of certain harmful chemicals that stimulate pain receptors in the skin, deep tissues or visceral organs. Visceral pain is also induced in a similar pattern of tissue injury either due to infection, inflammation or ischemia ( Decreased blood flow). The treatment of acute pain includes identifying the source of the tissue injury and treating the causative factor. Use of anti-nociceptives in these cases are always delayed in order to localize the source of the tissue injury before use of pain relieving methods.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain has several interpretation in medicine. Traditionally, the distinction between acute and chronic pain has relied upon an arbitrary interval of time from onset, the most commonly used markers being 3 months and 6 months since the beginning of pain.

Treatment of these two conditions are subject to the diagnosis and underlying conditions. The acute pain usually responds to the treatment of the underlying illness. Medications such as ANSAIDS or opioid are used for a short period of time. The treatment of the chronic pain is more challenging. There are several underlying factors that complicates the treatment of the chronic pain. The chronic pain patients are usually referred to neurologists or pain management clinics that are supervised by physicians who specialize in chronic pain management.