Neuropathic Pain, Acute Pain and Chronic Pain: What’s the Difference?

Whether you have neuropathic pain, chronic pain or acute pain, it is important to know the difference in order to receive the correct treatment.

What is Neuropathic Pain?

Neuropathic pain is considered a complex. After a tissue injury has healed, there is a possibility of nerve fiber damage. This type of damage can change the function of the nerve and send incorrect pain signals to the brain.

Neuropathic pain is often described as sharp, stabbing or burning pains. Some people have experienced tingling and numbness in limbs. There is no definite cause for this type of pain, but some common causes include:

  • Alcoholism
  • Shingles
  • Diabetes
  • Chemotherapy
  • Spine Surgery
  • Amputation
  • Back, Leg or Hip Problems

If a cause is found, treatment is available to reverse the symptoms. Some studies suggest using Aleve or Motrin for their anti-inflammatory properties. Medication designed to treat epilepsy and depression has also been used to ease pain. If a case is too difficult to treat with standard medication, electrical stimulation of the nerves or nerve block injectors may work.

What is Acute Pain?

The most common type of pain is acute pain. Acute pain is a cause and effect which basically lets you know you’ve been hurt. Acute pain will last for less than three to six months and generally refers to the pain you feel when you jam your finger in a door, burn your hand, break a leg or labor pains.

Acute pain is generally described as the intense, immediate pain followed by a slower, aching pain. When the injury heals, the pain stops. Acute pain should be dealt with soon before it can lead to more pain and impede with your daily life.

What is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain lasts for weeks, months, even years. Chronic pain is usually diagnosed after the three to six months window of acute pain. The pain may be caused by inflammation or dysfunctional nerves caused by a previous or current injury or infection.

Ongoing chronic pain can also lead to other health problems including:

  • Fatigue
  • Change in Mood
  • Sleep Disturbance
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

There are several treatments available for chronic pain. A physician may suggest one of the following:


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One Response

  1. leaon
    March 30, 2017

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