Classification of Pain

Acute Pain

Acute pain is commonly understood as a ‘warning signal’ by our body indicating that something is wrong. The pain can come suddenly and it usually signals a threat to the body; such as a sprain or strain. Acute pain can be mild or sharp depending on the type of injury. Generally such pains last less than 30 days. Detecting acute pain in an early stage can speed up the recovery process and help in shortening the treatment. Acute pain in most cases disappears when the area has been treated or has healed. If acute pain is not treated, it may lead to chronic pain.

Most common causes of acute pain are infections, burns, injuries, etc. Pain can originate and be experienced in any part of the body. To treat the type of pain it is crucial to have an initial understanding of the classifications of pain. To broadly classify pain, there is chronic pain and acute pain.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain (more persistent and almost permanent kind of pain lasting greater than three months) may come due to a trauma or infection. According to two studies done by the Indian Society for Study of Pain (ISSP), the prevalence rate for chronic pain is at 22% (2006) the other is at 14% (2012).

The quality of life of the patient can be improved by bringing the intensity of the pain down to make daily routines and tasks manageable for them. Pain increases with age and is higher in females and those with strenuous physical work. Chronic pain in such patients can be caused by operations and injuries, spine problems, osteo arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. There are other causes such as neurological disorders and strokes.

Chronic pain impairs everyday activities and the quality of life. According to studies done by the International Association for the study of Pain (IASP) chronic pain impacts a patients’ sleep, chores, social activities and such everyday tasks. The lifestyle of a patient changes as well as they become more dependent on others to help them and constant medications. There are also higher chances of slipping into depression. However, the most important factor that affects a patient is that their chronic pain isn’t managed properly hence there is prolonged suffering.

Pain can be felt externally as well as internally. The modes of treatment for both external and internal pain can vary depending on the injury or pain.

Some of the most common places that pain can be felt in the body are:

  • Knees
  • Shoulders
  • Hips
  • Brain
  • Chest
  • Neck
  • Muscles/tissues from any area of the body