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How Long?

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:02 AM in Chronic Pain
Pain can come in many different flavors.




All of these can be and are painful.

Do you know where you fit into those three categories?

Do you know how to tell the difference?
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


  • From my understanding..

    Acute pretty much translates to short-term and/or subject to change.

    Chronic, of course, is long-term or on-going. Usually only officially diagnosed after a condition does not get better after about 3 months(though the time-period can vary depending on medical issue and/or Doctor).

    Chronic can be further be seperated into 2 more categories: definite and indefinite.

    A Chronic problem that has no foreseeable resolve.

    A Chronic problem that eventually is resolved - ex: I had a Chronic Sinus Infection but it eventually disapated after 4 months.

    Not so sure on the definition of this one but I'm guessing someone who thinks they are in more pain than they actually are. OR perhaps someone who had a chronic or acute pain problem, then the problem was resolved but their behavior and mindset did not change.

    Anyway, considering this is a Chronic Pain forum, I would assume most people here are suffering from Chronic Pain. So Im not entirely sure what your trying to get at here?
  • Acute pain - is what I'm feeling right now after having had S.I. injections yesterday - but this WILL be alleviated very soon!!

    Chronic pain - unfortunately I've had this continuously for 7 years now.

    As for 'perceived' pain - all I can say is that I'm trying to TELL my brain/body that I am NOT in so much pain - thereby trying very hard to carry out day to day activities regardless. I am finding this strategy particularly difficult at the moment though since returning to work a month ago.

    Pain meds help, but do not take away the pain completely and, of course, doing certain activities (like working with very young children) involves alot more bending than I would otherwise encounter at home - so therefore my pain levels have increased.

    The pain meds have side effects that can create their own set of problems that need dealing with also.

    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • Dumbledore - I think you hit the nail on the head!

    I am assuming Ron is doing this for educational/informational purposes... You would be amazed at who knows the difference between these and who doesn't. Sometimes others may be unsure of whether or not they have chronic/acute/perceived pain. It's just a nice thread to have for members to look at and get a better understanding of what "category" they fall in. :-)
  • Acute – I’ve never had a pain and thought, hey that’s a cute pain. Every pain I have is ugly

    Chronic – cannot be fixed with a whiskey and tonic….made multiple attempts never worked. But I did have the privilege of re-tasting my food a few times…not as good the second time.

    Perceived – When I was married and I would forget to come home some nights, I would perceive that pain was waiting at my front door.

    Now that I got all of the technical medical definitions out of the way, this is how I define them from my personal perspective, not from a medical dictionary.

    Acute – Is a pain I can endure. I know there is an end in sight, so it makes it easier to deal with. It does not wear on me emotionally and mentally. Example – I can jump on my son’s skateboard (even though it has been many, many years) and not be too successful at staying vertical and fall and fracture my wrist. Yes it hurts, but I know it will heal and the pain will be gone. I have not found a remedy for the crushing blow to my ego yet.

    Chronic – this is a difficult one for me. I hold out hope that it will get better. With the passing of days, weeks, months the reality sets in that maybe this is going be here for a while. So I do like most males put off going to get it checked out till I have no choice. Then I find out what’s causing it, try to accept it. You know the whole I’m getting older and wearing out thing. Then months turn into years. That is when I start to break down emotionally and mentally. Then I have days that are better and I believe there is hope at normalcy. Then I have bad days and feel there is no hope. But no matter what I know my spirit cannot be broken, and some days I feel that is the only thing about me that isn’t.

    Perceived – I guess for me that would be more like thinking I know I’m hurting and want my mama.

    I have to add this disclaimer. I know with all of the medical jargon I used many of you might mistake me for a doctor but really I’m not. So do not print this out and run to your doctor saying now you have all the answers. He or She will simply say what idiot wrote this?
  • You are spot on when you said "Then I have days that are better and I believe there is hope at normalcy. Then I have bad days and feel there is no hope. But no matter what I know my spirit cannot be broken, and some days I feel that is the only thing about me that isn't." That is exactly how I feel. It is amazing how one day I can be at such a low, and the next thinking things aren't so bad...

  • Yea I tried to be light hearted to mask my true feelings but as I typed I felt I should actually bare my feelings. I know it was not the actual direction dilauro had planned for this thread and I am sorry about that. I do feel chronic pain can bring out the best and the worst in us. With me it is probably more of the bad it brings out. I do pitty those around me that have to deal with my many issues.
  • Sometimes we have to be light hearted, or we could possibly go insane!!! No hard in putting a smile on someones face. After reading what you wrote, it did make me smile, and I have to admit I actually even laughed :-))

    Sometimes it gets tiring being so serious and talking about our pains all of the time in such clinical, agonizing ways. Don't be sorry! I have a feeling you made several people smile, and possibly laugh today :)

    It is nice to hear things that are just plain funny, even on a chronic pain forum. What would we do if we never smiled, laughed, or told jokes every once in a while??? We would be even more crabby, and still have our pain. Humor is good for the soul!!!!
  • acute .sudden onset
    chronic ..long lasting
    intractable ...long lasting/pill resistant with no end not always terminal
    terminal../death at some stage
    many back pain sufferers have chronic pain that last many years even a life time ,on my records at the doctors i am down as intractable pain ..all i know is ...it HURTS!!
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    Of the three,I believe perceived would be the most thought provoking. Because it can be a word used many different ways depending on the subject your using the word for or in.
    Even in chronic pain it can provoke the use of the word in different ways.
    Which is what I think Ron is trying to get you to do. Knowing Ron for many years, that is what he dose in many of his posts....Try to provoke you to think.
    How do you perceive this, as it pertains to you?
    And that's just how I perceive the meaning of the post.
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    One of the first responders to this one, Dumbledore_Calrissian was curious or questioned as to why I started this thread.

    As more people responded, I felt confident that I achieved what I was after. Just getting people to talk about the different types of pain, how it relates to them and how they deal with it

    I guess thats my overall objective.. That is to get people thinking about their situations and how they deal with it.

    Everyone is different, and I know people will see those three definitions of pain differently.

    Keep it going.... Thank you
    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
  • Tkdan, you put a smile on my face :)
    I too use humor to deflect my pain, no matter what category it fits into. And somedays laughter is the best medicine.
    Thanks Ron for the thread I found each reply enlightening. I read posts for hours on here both good and bad. I cannot change my pain at the moment however I can change my perspective.
  • I guess I always thought of acute pain as serious but fleeting. I've always felt bad for people who have chronic pain, but I didn't really understand what it was - or I have a new understanding.

    This probably isn't what people want to hear, but it's the truth, for me. It took it a while to sink in that the pain I've been experiencing every day is never going to go away. There will be periods of better and periods of pain crisis, but I can't control what happens when. And it's only going to get worse, and there's nothing I can do to prevent that.

    Perceived pain is what some jerk doctors "thought" I was going through before I broke rank and got an MRI on my own.

    I'm cranky today. :(
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