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What Is Pain?

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Pain is a hurting sensation that can range from mild to severe. It is our body's way of letting us know we have been injured, or that we are not well. Pain can be experienced in different ways. For instance, pain can be:

  • Steady
  • Throbbing
  • Stabbing
  • Pinching
  • A tingling sensation
  • A dull ache

There are two types of pain: acute pain and chronic pain.

  • Acute Pain is pain that arises suddenly, generally in response to a specific injury. Acute pain can be mild and brief, such as the sensation of stubbing a toe, or it may be severe and last for a period of time, such as with burn injuries. It may also be the result of surgery or other medical treatments. The source of acute pain is generally obvious and usually resolves as the body heals.
  • Chronic Pain is pain that persists or progresses over a period of time. Chronic pain can result from injury or medical conditions. It can be mild or severe. Unlike acute pain, the cause of chronic pain can sometimes be difficult to determine. The pain may be constant, or may come and go. Chronic pain can last for an indefinite period of time. For some people, chronic pain may be present to some degree for years or even decades.

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