Acute pain is a protective mechanism necessary for our survival. It warns us that something is wrong. Pain can help us protect ourselves from injury and remind us to allow time to recover.
Chronic pain lasts beyond the normal time frame for healing to occur. It is maladaptive and a manifestation of pain as a disease in the central and peripheral nervous systems. The pain may be continuous or intermittent in nature.
It affects 11-29% of the general population and occurs more frequently in older patients. The older you are, the greater likelihood you have of having other conditions which are affecting your health and for which you need treatment.
Chronic pain is associated with functional impairment, temporary and permanent incapacity, psychological distress, sleep disturbances, mental health problems and substance use disorders.
The good news is that chronic pain management has evolved and there are new ways and treatments for helping you to manage your pain more effectively. New evidence shows that for the best possible outcome, treatment should occur in an interdisciplinary manner where treatment is co-ordinated and all team members are involved in your care.