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What is acute and chronic pain?

ANSWER

Acute pain usually starts suddenly and has a limited duration. It's often caused by damage to tissue such as bone, muscle, or organs, and the onset is often accompanied by anxiety or emotional distress.

Chronic pain lasts longer than acute pain and is generally somewhat resistant to medical treatment. It's usually linked to a long-term illness, such as osteoarthritis. In some cases, such as with fibromyalgia, it's one of the hallmarks of the disease. Chronic pain can be the result of damaged tissue, but very often is due to nerve damage.

SOURCES:

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "Pain: Hope Through Research."

Merck: "Pain: Types."

American Chronic Pain Association: "Managing Breakthrough Pain."

Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care at Beth Israel Medical Center (StopPain.org): "Myofascial Pain Syndrome."

American Chronic Pain Association: "Understanding Nerve Pain."

National Pain Foundation: "Neuropathic Pain."

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "NINDS Central Pain Syndrome Information Page."

Reviewed by Tyler Wheeler on August 16, 2019

SOURCES:

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "Pain: Hope Through Research."

Merck: "Pain: Types."

American Chronic Pain Association: "Managing Breakthrough Pain."

Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care at Beth Israel Medical Center (StopPain.org): "Myofascial Pain Syndrome."

American Chronic Pain Association: "Understanding Nerve Pain."

National Pain Foundation: "Neuropathic Pain."

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "NINDS Central Pain Syndrome Information Page."

Reviewed by Tyler Wheeler on August 16, 2019

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