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(1) While acute pain is a normal sensation triggered in the nervous system to alert you to possible injury and the need to take care of yourself, chronic pain is different. Chronic pain persists. Pain signals keep firing in the nervous system for weeks, months, even years. There may have been an initial mishap – sprained back, serious infection, or there may be an ongoing cause of pain – arthritis, cancer, ear infection, but some people suffer chronic pain in the absence of any past injury or evidence of body damage. Many chronic pain conditions affect older adults. Common chronic pain complaints include headache, low back pain, cancer pain, arthritis pain, neurogenic pain (pain resulting from damage to the peripheral nerves or to the central nervous system itself), psychogenic pain (pain not due to past disease or injury or any visible sign of damage inside or outside the nervous system).

(2) Chronic Pain Syndrome (CPS) is a combination of six things:

  • Chronic pain
  • Decreased function
  • Decreased physical abilities
  • Emotional stress
  • Psychological issues
  • Medicines, especially addicting medicines

Chronic pain is different than acute pain or short-acting pain. Acute pain is a symptom of a medical problem, illness or injury, and is only temporary. Chronic pain is more than a symptom - it is an actual illness or medical problem that persists beyond the healing phase, usually three to six months, and has not responded to traditional medical treatment, such as rest, medicine, injections, physical therapy or surgery. With time the pain spreads and increases in intensity.

glossary/chronic_pain_syndrome.txt · Last modified: 2012/10/16 14:40 (external edit)