Friday, November 10, 2006

Pain Information Center - Living With Pain

Not all pain is alike.

We've all experienced pain at one time or another. Sharp, dull, quick, recurring. However you describe it, pain technically fits into one of 2 categories – acute or chronic. Acute pain is pain that hits you suddenly – after falling from a ladder, being tackled on the football field or lifting a load that is just too heavy, for example. Acute pain comes on quickly and often leaves just as quickly. But chronic pain is different.

Are you suffering from chronic pain?

According to the American Chronic Pain Association, chronic pain is pain that continues a month or more beyond the usual recovery period for an injury or illness, or that goes on for months or years due to a chronic condition. Pain signals keep firing in the nervous system for weeks, months, even years. There may have been an initial mishap – a sprained back or serious infection – or there may be an ongoing cause of pain – arthritis or cancer. But you may suffer chronic pain in the absence of any past injury or evidence of body damage. And you live with it. Day in and day out. Perhaps working extra hard to get out of bed each morning. And struggling to do all the little things – like tying your shoes, climbing the stairs or lifting your child or grandchild.

Two common chronic conditions.

This site was designed to teach you more about chronic pain, and takes a closer look at 2 very common types – chronic back pain and chronic osteoarthritis pain. Only your doctor can diagnose chronic pain. But you can help manage it, and find appropriate treatments once and for all.

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