Understanding chronic pain
Chronic pain sometimes arises due to problems in the nervous system that make the nerve cells overly sensitive. Conventional painkillers often don’t help. But there are non-drug treatments and special medications for chronic pain.
Pain is described as being acute if it lasts for a few days or weeks, or at the most three months. This is roughly the amount of time that it takes for the body to repair damaged tissue, for example from a bone fracture, torn ligament or slipped disc.
Pain is considered to be chronic if it lasts longer than three months. In other words, if it lasts even though the tissue damage that originally caused the pain has already healed. Pain researchers assume that chronic pain often develops because the nervous system has become overly sensitive.