Acute and Chronic Pain


Acute Pain
    An episode of pain and lasting from a second to less than six months.

Chronic Pain
    Pain that lasts for six months or longer.
  1. Limited pain; e.g. cancer pain - death; slowly healing injuries - burns, torn muscles
  2. Intermittent pain; e.g. headache, back pain
  3. Persistent

Effects of Pain
Pain may be distressing and harmful to the patient. Acute pain may retard recovery. Chronic pain may prevent rehabilitation, or pain itself may be disability. To assess the extent which pain interferes with the patient's life, ask specific questions about the relationship between pain and the following:
  1. Sleep
  2. Eating
  3. Concentration (confusion)
  4. Anxiety
  5. Depression
  6. Irritability
  7. Crying
  8. Daily living at home and work
Pain Relief
    A. Distraction
        1. Visual concentration point and rhythmic massage
        2. Slow rhythmic breathing
        3. He-who rhythmic breathing
        4. Sing and tap rhythm
        5. Describing a series of pictures
    B. Cutaneous stimulation
        1. Massage, pressure, vibration, heat, cold, bathing, menthol rubbing agent. (When a rubbing agent is used, test skin first). Rule out any stimulation that tickles or causes discomfort.
        2. Relaxation
        3. Guided imagery

*It is rare that pain cannot be resolved. Through the use of the above techniques, and through the use of medications that are available. If your patient is in pain, notify the office immediately, and we will contact the primary care physicians to obtain orders for medication/treatments.