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Frequently Asked Questions

What is pain?

The definition of pain, as given by the International Association for the Study of Pain, underscores the following:

"An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described by the patient in terms of such damage."

However, pain is not always a signal of tissue damage or injury. Pain can also arise from a functional disturbance in the nervous system.

What are the different types of pain?

Two primary types of pain include the following:

Acute Pain

Acute Pain is pain that may be generated by inflammation, tissue damage, injury, illness, or recent surgery and is often characterized by the following:

  • pain
  • redness
  • increased local temperature
  • swelling

Acute pain usually ends after the underlying cause is treated or has been resolved.

Chronic Pain

Chronic Pain is pain that persists for weeks, months, or even years.

What is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is defined as pain that overwhelms all other symptoms and may become the problem.  The effects of chronic pain on people often include the loss of appetite.  In addition, physical activity of any kind can prove exhaustive and further aggravate the pain.

Chronic pain is considered a major medical condition that can and should be treated accordingly.

What Causes Chronic Pain? 

Chronic pain may have started from an initial illness or accident, from which a person has long since recovered, or there may be an ongoing cause of pain, such as arthritis or cancer.

Many people suffer from chronic pain in the absence of any past injury or evidence of illness. The most common type of chronic pain is from an abnormal function in the nervous system. Neuropathic pain refers to pain that can arise when there is abnormal function in the peripheral nervous system.


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