When you experience pain, it is your body's natural response to actual or potential damage. In other words, your body is protecting you—even when it might feel like it isn't. The feeling of pain is triggered when special nerve endings, called pain receptors, cause electrical signals to be sent to the brain through the spinal cord. The brain then recognizes these electrical signals as "pain."
If you are feeling pain, it can be experienced through two categories: Acute and Chronic. With both categories of pain, the pain experienced can be mild, moderate or severe.
Acute and Chronic Pain
Acute pain refers to pain that occurs immediately after an injury and lasts no longer than two months when treated properly. On the other hand, chronic pain is any type of pain that lasts six months or longer. Chronic pain can be difficult to treat because:
- The source or cause can be hard to determine
- Pain varies from one person to the next
- People with the same kind of chronic pain may need different treatments