My chronic pain clients tell me all the time about friends, family members, coworkers, and bosses who tell them that they “don’t look sick” or how they “don’t seem to be in THAT much pain.” I’m always amazed that people would be so presumptuous as to tell someone else that they are lazy or to call them a liar.
The problem is that many people don’t realize that there’s a difference between acute pain (the kind that everyone feels at one time or another from injury or illness) and chronic pain. So, in an effort to bring awareness to the masses (or just to the few of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook or subscribe to this blog), here are my top 10 differences between acute and chronic pain.
1. Breathing rate increases
2. Heart rate increases
3. Blood pressure increases
4. Feels sudden, sharp, stabbing
5. Felt with specific movements or positions
6. Pain is localized
7. Pain processing centers in brain function normally
8. Causes wincing, limping, or other outward signs of pain
9. Painful stimulus to a non-injured area does not affect injury pain
10. Limited duration (pain ends when injury is healed)
1. No change in breathing rate
2. No change in heart rate
3. No change in blood pressure
4. Felt as dull, achy, deep
5. Pain may or may not be present regardless of position, movement, or lack of movement.
6. Pain is widespread
7. Pain processing centers in brain change and no longer function normally
8. Does not usually elicit wincing, limping, or other outward signs of pain
9. Painful stimulus anywhere could cause pain flare that lasts an average of 1-2 weeks, possibly more
10. Pain Persists
If you have chronic pain, know someone who has chronic pain, or just found this interesting, please comment and of course feel free to share it widely. There are handy buttons right below the post to make it easier. ↓↓↓