Alerts

FDA advises consumers to stop using any supplement products labeled as OxyElite Pro or VERSA-1. Please see the following advisories: FDA -10/08/13, FDA - 10/11/13 and CDC - 10/08/13.

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Announcements

New article on reporting side effects of supplements
Just published in The New England Journal of Medicine: A recent article brings up dietary supplement issues you need to be aware of and discusses how dietary supplement side effects could be monitored better. A PDF of the April 3rd article is available free online.

3rd International Congress on Soldiers’ Physical Performance
August 18-21, 2014
The ICSPP delivers innovative scientific programming on soldiers’ physical performance with experts from around the world.

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Dietary supplement module
Earn continuing education credits (if eligible) for this two-hour online module.

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You are here: Home / Total Force Fitness / Pain Management / Frequently Asked Questions / What is the difference between acute and chronic pain?

What is the difference between acute and chronic pain?

Question

What is the difference between acute and chronic pain?

HPRC's Answer

Acute pain is the body's normal response to damage such as a cut, an infection, or other physical injuries. This type of pain usually comes on fast and often goes away in no more than a few weeks or months if treated properly. Acute pain can become chronic when the cause is difficult to treat.

Chronic pain, according to the VHA, "generally refers to intractable pain that exists for three or more months and does not resolve in response to treatment." It is viewed more as its own disease rather than as a symptom of another health problem. It can be affected by physical (sitting or standing), environmental (weather changes), and psychological (such as stress) factors. Chronic pain often cannot be treated or cured; it can only be managed. Therefore, chronic pain may reduce quality of life, well-being, and ability to function over the long term.