Difference between acute and chronic pain

Pain can be classified as acute and chronic pain according to its duration. Acute pain generally lasts 4–6 weeks, and chronic pain usually lasts more than 12 weeks.

Acute pain is considered to be a complex and unpleasant emotional, cognitive, and sensory experience caused by tissue trauma, such as postoperative acute pain from the pulling and trauma to the skin, tissue organs, and nerves during surgery. The traditional postoperative pain relief method used in the past usually involves the following: the patient informs the nurse when they feel pain, who then informs the on-call or attending physician for treatment, and the doctor prescribes painkillers based on the drugs taken by the patient, the patient’s surgical method and surgical site, etc., and lastly, the nursing staff pass the painkillers to the patient, and the entire process takes more than 30 minutes. This is torturous for the patient. Repeating this process also causes the patient’s pain receptors to continue to be stimulated and sensitized, which eventually results in chronic post-surgical pain (CPSP).

Multimodal pain relief is the main trend in pain relief at present. This entails the use of a 7-day long-acting painkiller injection in tandem with short-acting drugs, so as to control pain with drugs in advance, thereby avoiding chronic pain problems from the over-stimulation of pain receptors!