APM Blog

What is the Difference Between Acute and Chronic Pain?

16 Nov

How is Pain Defined? Acute vs. Chronic
Understanding your pain starts by first defining the most basic aspect of pain: acute pain versus chronic pain.

Advanced Pain Management’s Kim Litwack, PhD has a short and simple way of explaining the difference. Watch her video now.

The standard answer to the question “What is the difference between acute and chronic pain” is this:

Acute pain is pain with a specific, identifiable cause, like a slip or fall. An example of acute pain is the pain you feel when you stub your toe or touch a hot stove. Pain from an acute injury should resolve itself in two to four weeks with the help of rest, ice, heat and a visit to your primary care provider.

Chronic pain is pain that lasts longer than 4 to 6 weeks. An acute injury can lead to chronic pain, but sometimes chronic pain does not have an identifiable cause. If your pain persists for four to six weeks, you should see a pain management physician who can help pinpoint the cause of your pain and work with you to find an appropriate treatment plan.  An example of chronic pain is back pain that lasts longer than 4 weeks.

Interested in more information about pain prevention? Subscribe to our blog now to get weekly emails from our team of expert pain management physicians or join the over 23,000 people who subscribe to our monthly eNewsletter. You can also follow our #KnowYourPain series on Twitter or like us on Facebook to stay current with all of our educational resources.

Do you have questions about your pain or about our new #KnowYourPain series? Let us know in the comments!

New Call-to-action

Last modified on Wednesday, 22 November 2017 08:14

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

Popular Posts


Advanced Pain Management Near You

Our diverse physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants provide patients with the most comprehensive approach to pain management. We have convenient locations across Wisconsin and Minnesota including Appleton, Green Bay, Kenosha, Madison, Mankato, Milwaukee, Racine, Sheboygan, Waukesha, Wausau and many more.

© 2020 Advanced Pain Management. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use & Notice of Privacy Practices