What is the definition of pain?
Acute versus chronic pain
Acute PainHappens because of an injury or a trauma
Chronic PainPain that goes on for longer than 3 months.
Pain can be defined as either ‘acute’ or ‘chronic’. Acute pain often happens because of an injury or a trauma, and resolves within three to six months. Chronic pain, however, is pain that goes on for longer than 3 months, and can be a continuous or intermittent pain that persists even after the original injury has physically healed.3
Pain is an emotional experience and is different for every person. Pain is often difficult to define because it is an experience that is whatever the experiencing person says it is, existing whenever they say it does.3
Pain can impact your quality of life
- Cohen M, et al. Pain Reports. Mar/Apr 2018. 3(2):p e634
- International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP). IASP Terminology. 2017. Accessed April 2023.
- Orr PM, et al. Crit Care Nurs Clin N Am. 2017;29:407–18.