Dr. Pohl explains the difference between acute and chronic pain.
The difference between acute and chronic pain is like day and night. Acute pain is pain related to an injury; the medical term for that is no susceptive pain. That’s the swelling inflammatory pain that is, it’s what God gave us to protect us from further damage or to help us withdraw from a painful stimulus. It’s kind of good pain; we need to have that pain. You break your arm, you best not put pressure on it or it’s going to make it worse.
Chronic pain is a whole different animal. Chronic pain is pain–acute pain is like an alarm clock going off. You need it. You’re up. You turn the alarm off. The pain goes away. Chronic pain–the alarm doesn’t go off. It just keeps buzzing and buzzing and buzzing and it becomes annoying, it disrupts your ability to function normally. Sometimes it really kind of drives you crazy.
So chronic pain lasts more than three months. If it’s, my rule of thumb is if you’ve got pain and you are taking medication for more than a month, you ought to be on alert and your doc ought to be on alert. If we’re up to three months, it’s probably not going away and that would be the class called chronic pain.
About Dr. Mel Pohl, M.D.:
Dr. Mel Pohl, M.D., is a Board Certified Family Practitioner. He is the Vice President of Medical Affairs and the Medical Director at the Las Vegas Recovery Center (LVRC), the only private, freestanding, medically managed inpatient detoxification and addiction treatment facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.