There are many different types of pain, although classifying pain into categories can be challenging because some forms of pain can fall into more than one category. 

However, distress can be classified based on the duration it lasts in the body and the body part it affects. Your medical practitioner must first identify the type of pain to determine which type of treatment suits you.

Based on the duration any aspect of pain lasts in the body, pain can either be classified as acute or chronic.


Frequently Asked Questions

Acute pain is the kind of pain that kicks in suddenly, and it is usually sharp. Acute pain can be result from muscle strain, a cut, burn, a surgical incision, or a broken bone. 

In most cases, acute pain is mild and should only last for a day or two. Some patients might experience sharp pain for weeks or months. As a general rule of thumb, if the pain exceeds six months, it ceases to be acute pain and becomes chronic pain.

Acute pain is mainly related to temporary illness or soft-tissue injuries. The pain should subside as soon as the wound or injury heals or the condition ceases.

Chronic pain is the kind of persistent pain that lasts for more than three months. Unlike acute pain that stops after you heal, a chronic pain condition can persist years after the injury. 

If you are a patient living with chronic pain, failure to treat chronic pain can adversely affect your overall health and have a profound impact on your life and the lives of those around you.

Some of the leading causes of chronic pain include cancer pain, fibromyalgia, back problems or spinal pain, migraines, nerve damage, infections, surgeries, arthritis and other historic injuries.

Physicians may recommend acupuncture, physical therapy, pain medicine, and relaxation therapy to control chronic pain.

Based on the body part affected by the pain, chronic pain can be classified into one of four categories: neuropathic pain, functional pain, nociceptive pain and inflammatory pain.

When managing pain, there are a number of therapies you can try. Some excellent options include pain-relieving medicines, physical therapies (such as cold or heat packs, exercise, hydrotherapy, massage), mind and body treatment techniques, non-medical treatment techniques such as acupuncture as well as relaxation techniques.

No. Don't wait until pain becomes severe to take pain medication. Pain is easier to control when it is mild. You should take your pain medication regularly, just as prescribed. Sometimes this means taking medicine on a regular schedule, even when you don't feel pain.

Yes. Your healthcare provider needs to assess your pain, so it is very important for your health care team to know if you are in pain. 

Describe your pain clearly and in as much detail as possible. Most doctors and nurses ask you to describe your level of pain on a scale.

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