Acute Pain

Acute pain is a short-time pain that lasts from minutes to about three months or in some cases up to six months. It also tends to be related to a temporary illness or a soft-tissue injury, so it classically subsides after the illness subsides or the injury heals. Acute pain from an injury might develop into chronic pain if the injury does not heal properly or if the pain signals malfunction.

Medically speaking, pain is an uncomfortable feeling that commonly signals an illness or injury. Generally speaking, pain is a manner of the body of telling that something is not going well. The purpose of pain is to make you uncomfortable especially if you are sick or injured, you will know you need to do something. Your brain normally triggers the pain response once you do something that hurts your body.

The sensitivity of pain differs from person to person. One person may have a broken bone and not even realize it, while another may feel substantial pain from that same injury. Pain is mediated by nerve fibers in your body, and these nerve fibers have the job of sending pain signals to the brain which occurs very fast. When they find their way to the brain, the brain works to make you mindful of the pain. Each person’s body is different, the brain and the nerve fibers can react differently to the same stimuli.

Causes of Acute Pain

Acute pain usually comes on suddenly and sharp in quality. Causes of acute pain may include:

  • Burns or cuts
  • Broken bones
  • Surgery
  • Dental work
  • Labor and childbirth

Usually, people experiencing acute pain will have an elevated respiratory rate, heart rate, and blood pressure. They also shiver or shake and have pale skin and goosebumps.

Risk Factors of Acute Pain

The physiological signs that happen with acute pain appear from the response of the body to pain as a stressor. Further factors such as the emotions, cultural background, spiritual or psychological discomfort of the patient may contribute to the suffering of acute pain.

Treating Acute Pain

Every person and their pain is unique. The best way to manage your case might be very different from what works for someone else. Make sure to share that information with your doctor. It will help them find the right solutions for you.

Describing your pain correctly can make it easier for your doctor to find the cause of your pain and recommend the right treatment. If possible, write down details of your pain before your appointment to help you be as clear as possible. Here are some things your doctor will want to know:

  • How often your pain happens
  • How long you’ve had the pain
  • Whether your pain is limited to one spot or spread out
  • What movements or activities make your pain better or worse
  • What brought on your pain
  • Where you feel the pain
  • If your pain comes and goes or is constant

Medications for Acute Pain

This is an oral tablet that is typically used for acute pain. It works on pain receptors in the brain and central nervous system to block pain signals to the rest of the body. It also works in the brain to change how your body feels and responds to pain.

This is an opioid analgesic used to helps relieve acute pain. This can also be used for severe pain caused by nerve damage in people who need around-the-clock treatment.

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

This is another type of analgesic that can lessen pain and help a person regain daily function.

  • Acetaminophen

This is a type of analgesic that is often known by the brand name Tylenol that helps relieve pain.

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