Patient Information Resources

Centre for Orthopaedics
Suite 10-33/34/35 Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
38 Irrawaddy Road
Singapore, 329563, Singapore
Ph: (65) 6684 5828
Fax: (65) 6684 5829

Child Orthopedics
Pain Management
Spine - Cervical
Spine - General
Spine - Lumbar
Spine - Thoracic

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What is the difference between chronic pain and acute pain?

Healthcare professionals tend to use terms like chronic pain and acute pain without realizing that the patients may not understand what we mean and this is a good question.

Acute pain is a pain that is usually of sudden onset and something that you can pinpoint and treat. Examples of acute pain are:

- tooth ache

- surgery

- broken ankle

- burn

- stubbed toe

Chronic pain, on the other hand, may have come on suddenly, like a broken ankle, or it may come on gradually without being noticed as to when it started, like migraines. Some examples of chronic pain are:

- arthritis

- lower back pain that lasts several months

- endometriosis

- migraines

Chronic pain is not as definable is usually more difficult to treat than acute pain because it can't be pinpointed. Some doctors feel that pain lasting for three months or more should be considered chronic, while others say it should be six months or more.


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*Disclaimer:*The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.

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