You hit your elbow on the table, shooting pain runs up your arm, and you yell out “ouch!”. Many of us have encountered a similar scenario. In that moment of pain you may be irritable, distracted, tense, even inpatient. The pain is sharp, intense, and after a few distractions the pain has subsided, and you go about your day. I have just shared with you an acute pain scenario.
Acute pain described by Web MD:
Acute pain begins suddenly and is usually sharp in quality. It serves as a warning of disease or a threat to the body…Acute pain may be mild and last just a moment, or it may be severe and last for weeks or months.
Have you considered what it would be like if that sharp, intense pain, never went away? You were forced to live in a chronic state of pain even if the injury is considered healed. Try and imagine the emotional and physical distress that mounts.
Chronic pain persists despite the fact that an injury has healed. Pain signals remain active in the nervous system for weeks, months, or years.
I admit, in the past minimizing a person’s suffering when I heared words like, chronic lower back pain, knee pain, joint pain, disregarding and not understanding the severity of chronic pain. With this newfound knowledge, I hope that we all reconsider how we treat people who bravely share with us that they are suffering from chronic pain.