Acute vs Chronic Pain

Nociception Overview

What is Acute Pain?

Acute pain is usually easier to see because it is occurs as a direct result of tissue damage or potential tissue damage and is a symptom. It serves as a warning of disease or a threat to the body.

What is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is a disease. It comes from an imbalance in the pain system of the body. Inputs come from the skin, muscle, joints and viscera. The information goes through the dorsal horn of the spinal cord to the brain.

In the brain, the information may affect three domains of pain: cognitive process, motivational-affective and sensory-discriminative. These three domains can influence descending modulation of pain.

As a pain management expert, you have to assume responsibility for what you can control. Next, we'll discuss effective strategies for coping with chronic pain.


University of Iowa logo
University of Iowa