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Chronic Pain - Does that change how we

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,841
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in Matters of the Heart
deal with Acute pain?

I've always found this subject interesting.

When any of us have had to deal with Chronic pain for much longer than what the pure definition states, we know all the different impacts it can have on our lives.

One thing I have noticed over the years, and yesterday a situation brought it right back to life. I can deal pretty much with all the chronic pain, but it seems like Acute pain really does me in.

Yesterday, I had dental work done, first time in about 16 months because of all the implants I had with my shoulder surgeries. As the dentist was drilling to get ready for a filling, I thought I was going to come out of the chair. He even said, Gee, that should not have hurt But thats not the first time I've been in this type of situation. Acute pain bothers me more, causes me more discomfort than chronic pain!

It just seems that over the years my body has adjusted to chronic pain, but acute pain, that is a whole another story.
I do wish I could trade in the chronic pain for acute pain, but we deal with what we need to.
Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com


  • I knew it was coming from you Ron! I unfortunately have to say that I no longer have that super-high pain threshold I once had, in fact its probably much lower than average. Medication-related? Maybe, I don't know.

    But, I do find that although the sensation at the time is more intense, (the stubbing of the toe, that one injection), knowing that it will be short-lived, I can somewhat bundle it into a little packet of "acceptable" in my mind more easily...

    I have a much greater fear of suffering through an un-conquerable pain. Like many here, I live every day in some degree of pain everyday, all the time. I accept it some days better than others. In this "adventure", I was once significantly under-treated for my pain post-op in a large hospital for several days. Although my pain doc took over my care the day I was released, that experience has really branded my brain. Its probably every persons worst nightmare; I never would have thought post-op pain in a hospital wouldn't be treated, even though I met with the anesthesia department the day before my surgery who reassured me "we will make every attempt to control your post-op pain".

    I can actually remember my last "pain-free" day, about 3 years ago, its almost like a dream, very surreal. I remember how I felt when I woke up that morning, where I was, what I wore. I long for another day like that, so I guess unlike Ron, I haven't fully adjusted yet. My response to this question would be more the opposite than Ron, I can handle the acute stuff, as long as it is just "acute", but worsening of the chronic stuff - I fear it. Does that mean I'm not dealing well?
  • I been puting dentist off now for a long time not just because the money issues. but i remember having last root canal and same here i was ready to jump out of the chair, All of a sudden felt as the tooth nerve shot all the way to my spine nerve and then its on baby. That just brought on the nerve pain from spine along with tooth and all. I cant put it off much longer.

    Soon as this eye surgery is out of the way for cadaracts then time for dentist for me weather i like it or not.

    Ron' how did shoulder surgery come out? I dont remember reading the outcome of your shoulder surgeries. I think we all knew when you was having the surgery for the shoulder cause thats when the warnings stoped coming out 'lol
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,841
    a give away?

    Not dealing with the chronic pain? No, I would not even think that. The mere fact that you can intelligently post here about the good/bad, express yourself, not complain but always trying to understand. To me that is dealing with just about anything.

    I dont know if its just been the 30+ years of having one spinal problem or another and still trying to do the most I can. I know I pushed myself in the beginning, way too much and I am sure that led to additional problems. Did it help me at all in dealing with pain?
    I dont know, I just know that I seem to forget about my problems because I am surrounded by so many who are doing just fine. ( I dont want to be the weak one )
    Here, on Spine-Health is about the only place I can let my guard down and say what comes to mind
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Its interesting the difference between chronic and acute pain. I used to be able to deal with acute pain much better in my "previous life" before all my back surgeries. Strange how things change.


    Spinal stenosis, spondolysis, spondolythesis, L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion with instrumentation and bone graft from hip, L1/S1 fusion with replacement disc put in and a nice bolt from my spine to my pelvis; PT, accupuncture, prolotherapy, many cortisone injections, 4 rhizotomies. Currently on tramadol.
    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • Dentist-I just had teeth drilled and prepared to put my first bridge in and just him taking the fillings out required more freezing needles for me and I had taken 40mg of Oxycontin for my chronic pain but required more than the average person the Dentist said.

    No one likes dental work but I will never go years again without a cleaning and keeping on top of dental work to prevent having to catch up again. I lost my tooth after spending so much money on gum lengthening surgery for a crown and paying for that then the crown came out and I lost my tooth and didn't get a bridge for years now but so glad I went through with it though it cost a small fortune. Especially with having gum surgery my teeth were collapsing together and didn't like my one tooth denture.

    Especially getting older we have to take care of our teeth. But sensitive to acute pain for sure. The meds only take care of chronic pain and we're more sensitive it seems to acute pain. Thanks for pointing that out and hope you're doing okay now. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Ron,

    I am a dental "chicken", but my pain levels thanks to the land of chronic pain are higher, and I am actually pretty "okay" with root canals, fillings, crowns and the like.

    For me, I can tolerate short term (acute) pain better now than in the past. I've been told that I have a high threshold for pain, and so I guess since my brain knows this new acute pain is just that, acute, it blocks it easier?

    I kind of like the acute pain if that makes sense. "Oh, your back hurts (see person stomping your big toe - OUCH), now that back pain isn't so bad is it?" (G) Acute pain actually redirects my attention away from my chronic pain...if only for a short time.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I noticed that sometimes myself. Times the acute pain redirects the pain in diferent area of the body and at times it gives you like a strange break away from the every day pain. We had a conversation about this in chat 1 day. A buddy of mine in florida was geting tatoos because he claimed it was geting his mind of his neck and back pain. Then another person in chat was saying they are doing the same thing. I understand the concept of it, its to me just a litle too extreme.

    Even right now while i was bending with my knees to protect my back something went out in my knee, i never in my life had a knee injury but i cant put pressure on it hurts so bad. So right now back pain is out of mind. I am wearing a soft type brace to help but just under the knee cap towards the inside i can touch it and it hurts like hell and i dont realy want to go to another dr again cause i am sick of it. If its a ligament does it just heal on its own does anyone know? Everyone bring out your violins and play me a song. Lol
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    Like Alex just said ... untill my back started with its issues .... all my pain was focused on my neck and shoulders and arm and hand etc. - once my back came into play .... I discovered a whole new relm of pain that was new, unwanted etc.

    I think its like the lion with the thorn in its foot.

    We sent each waking hour with our "regular plain old chronic pain" that when the "opportunity" for acute pain presents itself .... its like OK ALREADY .... I've alreay had my fill"!!

    So yes I find myself particulaarly resentfull of the dentist and acute pain situations .... I've already had my fill within the first 15 minutes of each day.
    (most often)

    If you can make any sense of that,


    Spine-health Moderator
    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • Chronic vs chronic vs acute. With me I jokingly say that my cervical, thoracic and lumbar sometimes fight for who gets the most attention. It's true! Now with that said, the thoracic really doesn't change all that much, it's always there, but because I overdue my neck or back trump it to the point I almost don't notice it!!

    On the acute, yeah I can see getting a tattoo detracting away from the chronic side of the house - and yeah I agree, a bit of an extreme. I've actually been thinking of getting a new tat (last one was 1981 - my Army eagle), but since I can't really nail what I want - I guess I am not that eager to get one right now. (G)

    As for your knee, it all depends what you really stressed as to whether it will heal on its own. I had a wipe-out as a teen skiing and wrecked my left knee. Stretched the hell out of most everything in there, and partially tore some ligaments. I was put in a soft cast for a while and it did recover. 12 years later it started hurting and swelling up again. So there can be hope Alex!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Dave,

    "The first 15 minutes of the day" is pretty much how I know my benchmark for the day will be! Sure there are plenty of times where I hurt more as the day goes on (activities), but otherwise if I don't go crazy doing things, that first 15 minutes gives me an idea of this being a 'good or bad' day. So yeah, I get ya!

    The lion with the thorn. Wow, now there's a story that brings back "happy" memories! He was soooo cute! (G) It's funny now thinking back, he was the perfect example of how we get with chronic pain - mean, short tempered, unhappy - drop the pain, happy, relaxed, friendly. Interesting story of truth, and a kids story at that!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • The really "little acute" pains don't bother me much now that I have chronic pain - I cut and burn myself all the time - doing simple things in the kitchen - and I barely notice it, which I attribute to the pain medications.

    But, now when I get a cold - I need to stay home, in bed, for a few days - well of course the coughing hurts a lot more too, now.

    However, when I had a "big acute" pain, it was a distraction from my lumbar pain. I passed out and knocked out my front tooth once - and then had the tooth jammed back into my head two hours later by a dentist. Amazingly painful experience. Earlier that day, I had had a discogram. I guess I was still under the effects of the anaesthetic and the other drugs they had given me for the procedure, so I didn't even take any extra pain meds until the next day - I was probably in a kind of shock too.

    But for several days afterward - my tooth, my mouth, my head were in such pain - I didn't feel my back much at all. I still couldn't do very much though, because my head hurt so much. But I even came to feel that somehow the discogram - the liquid they pushed into my disc - had somehow relieved the pain in my disc, and puffed it up. So instead of the discogram causing me pain, it seemed to relieve my pain, for a few days afterward.

    When I get "acute" neck pain though, it makes my lumbar pain worse.

    Very interesting topic!

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