When trying to assess some kind of pain that you may suffering from, there are some classifying characteristics that can help you to distinguish between acute vs chronic pain. Determining whether the pain you are suffering from is acute or chronic can be an important factor in deciding when to seek help.
Medical and Chiropractic professionals will often use the distinction of acute or chronic pain to help them group certain conditions together, and also to assist them in the diagnostics process.
Acute Pain Characteristics
When addressing different kinds of pain, acute pain is one variation that is actually beneficial to the body. This is a type of pain that essentially serves as the body’s warning alarm system; it is a response to a sudden and clearly defined cause of pain. For example, if you were to accidentally strike your own hand with a hammer while working, the pain you would experience is classified as being acute for the way that it is immediately signaling your brain that an injury to the hand has been sustained.
Another scenario might be the pain inflicted on an individual by breaking a bone, or burning themselves in some way, or any number of other situations wherein a person suffers a sudden-onset injury or bodily trauma that incites an acute pain response in the brain. Acute pain is fundamentally characterized by the way it begins suddenly and tends not to last very long; when the injury or trauma is healed or corrected over time, acute pain subsides and is no longer experienced by the patient.
Chronic Pain Characteristics
Chronic pain is a classification that is significantly different from acute pain for a couple of reasons. One of these reasons is that with chronic pain, the pain itself takes the form of a disease. Chronic pain is a variation characterized by discomfort and pain that lingers long after an injury or trauma has already healed; strangely, it plagues certain patients even when there is seemingly nothing at all wrong with their body. Chronic pain can last for widely varying lengths of time, ranging from weeks, to months, years, and sometimes it can stay with an individual for the duration of their lifetime. Before a person can be legitimately diagnosed with having chronic pain, they would need to have been experiencing relatively consistent pain for about 3-6 months.
Sometimes associated with cases of chronic pain is an alteration of a person’s nervous system, which can dispose them to experiencing more prolonged and severe sensations of pain. While a cause of chronic pain can sometimes be determined by a doctor, there are times when no cause can ever be found. Fortunately for sufferers of chronic pain, the majority of cases do in fact include an exclusive determination of the cause of the pain, making treatments a more realistic and effective option for patients.
If you are currently suffering pain, call (416) 479-8311 to talk with a chiropractic specialist in Toronto for an assessment.