Acute and Chronic Pain: Your New Normal

Pain serves as a natural warning signal that something is not right with our bodies and is categorized as either acute or chronic.

Acute pain, typically results from trauma or surgery which is accompanied by sharp or exaggerated inflammation. Surgery, major cuts, and intense dental work are examples of acute pain. The cause of acute pain is typically treated with therapy and medications, and is for the most part limited to days or weeks. In rare instances acute pain can become chronic pain.

Chronic pain is believed to represent a disease itself like cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, and is also acute at times and prolonged over months and years. Common chronic pain complaints are headaches, back pain, arthritis pain, neck pain  and more.

Treatment for chronic pain is typically medications, pain management techniques (like breathing and relation exercises), along with walking, aquatic therapy, hot and cold pack regimens and other pain reducing techniques which seek to reduce pain and improve overall quality of life.

Persons with chronic pain are often disabled in some degree, often develop anxiety disorders and seek counseling or therapy for mental health purposes.

Some pain medicines are more effective in fighting chronic pain when they are combined with other methods of treatment. Persons suffering with chronic pain may need to try various methods to maintain maximum pain relief.

Family and friends are encouraged to become well informed and educated on chronic pain. Chronic Pain support groups and websites like the American Chronic Pain Association and Spine Health are excellent resources for both the chronic pain sufferer and his or her family and friends.

– by Frank Doberman, PhD

Dr. Frank Doberman is Co-Founder of Karner Psychological Associates (KPA) and is a leader in the fields of clinical psychology, is a Licensed Psychologist, Certified in School Psychology, Educational Administration and is a regular contributor to News 10 WTEN.

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