In the Spotlight
Understanding Acute and Chronic Pain
How pain is defined can help you learn to control it better
You've been in pain for a few months now. But is your pain acute or chronic? Understanding the difference between the two is very important when it comes to talking with your health care team and planning pain-management strategies.
The Understanding Pain video was developed to give Veterans, family members, and clinicians with general strategies for managing acute and chronic pain. Based on an Australian concept for pain education, Understanding Pain is a product of the Department of Defense (DoD) - Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Joint Pain Education Project (JPEP).
Acute pain typically lasts for a few weeks and can happen for many reasons. It's usually caused by something specific, such as a surgery, a back injury, or a sprained ankle, and goes away after your body has healed.
When pain continues after healing, it's defined as chronic pain. Chronic pain is much more complicated than acute pain. Chronic pain can impact your mood, your lifestyle, and your overall well-being.
VA has ways for helping you manage your acute and chronic pain. Learn more.
The Six Essentials Elements of Good Pain Care (VA)
Pain Management (VA)
Joint Pain Education Project Videos (VA + DoD)
Created June 18, 2018