Pain and Pain Management

In general, pain can be categorized as either being acute (less than 3 months) or chronic (greater than 3 months). For a considerable amount of time, chronic pain was simply thought of as being a physiological sensation that one experiences. However, advances in pain research over the past 2 decades have helped to re-define the experience of chronic pain as involving not just biological factors such as the physiological sensation itself, but also the psychological and sociological factors. These include, for example, the understanding of the nature of pain, past pain-related experiences, prior learning from others about pain, and the emotional and social impact of the avoidance of activities.

As the understanding of chronic has evolved over time, so has the approach to helping patient’s to manage chronic pain. There are different pain management approaches, all of which focus on reducing distress, increasing functioning, and to teaching patients the skills they need to self-manage their pain.

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