Chronic Pain Vs Acute Pain

The distinction between acute and chronic pain is sometimes determined by the interval of time since the onset. It’s hard to determine when acute pain becomes chronic; however, many providers classify pain lasting more than three months as chronic pain.  

Although acute and chronic pain are often treated differently, evidenced based practice indicates treatment under the same philosophy of multimodal therapy proves beneficial. Multimodal therapy combines more than one method of treatment for the same issue. Treatment plans include medications, interventions, behavioral modification, and alternative treatments. The concept also works within each category itself. For example, providers may choose medications from different classes or medications with a different mechanism of action to treat the same problem. The combination of these medications is an effort to reduce high medication dosing regimens.

Sweet Dreams Nurse Anesthesia advocates support for this concept for treating acute pain by offering safe and effective regional anesthesia techniques as part of our anesthetic care plans. The incorporation of regional techniques have been shown to reduce the use of narcotics and other pain medications during the perioperative period.  Reduction of these medications regimens has led to decreased adverse effects, shorter recovery room time, and increased patient satisfaction.

In regards to chronic pain, we support multimodal therapy by offering individualized care plans focused on non-narcotic medication regimens, interventional procedures, physical therapy, life style changes, counseling, and supportive measures. Interventional procedures are used to reduce or eliminate the painful stimulus in efforts to allow our patients the opportunity to return to a healthier lifestyle. Lifestyle changes that effect chronic pain include: increased exercise, diet changes, stress management, smoking cessation, and improved sleep cycles.