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An important component of Pain Management is correctly classifying the type of pain a patient is experiencing. While there are many ways to classify pain, the most straightforward, easy-to-understand system breaks pain down into three types: acute, chronic, and breakthrough. Here’s all the information you need to understand each:

Acute Pain

Acute pain is sudden and short-lasting. It’s typically caused by injuries to soft tissue and muscles. The most common of these type of injuries are strains and sprains of the:

  • Lower back
  • Neck
  • Ankle
  • Wrist
  • Elbow
  • Knee
  • Shoulder

In some cases, anxiety and/or depression can accompany acute pain, as patients are neither expecting nor accustomed to it.

Chronic Pain

In contrast to acute pain, chronic pain is defined by the duration of time the pain is experiences, usually 3 months or more. This constant/consistent type of pain is caused by various medical conditions, the most common of which being:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Spinal disc herniation
  • Spinal conditions
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Diabetic neuropathy

Like acute pain, anxiety and/or depression can be associated with chronic pain.

Breakthrough Pain 

Breakthrough pain can be defined as pain “flare ups” that occur while chronic pain is being effectively treated. This unique type of pain can occur for no reason, or because medications/treatment options are wearing off. Luckily, breakthrough pain is easily treatable—a slight alteration to a patient’s treatment plan is usually enough to decrease or stop symptoms.

Treating the Different Types of Pain: The Role of a Pain Management Specialist 

Typically, patients with acute pain are seen by family practice physicians and orthopedic specialists. On the other hand, patients with chronic and breakthrough pain are treated by Pain Management Specialists. Because Pain Management is more advanced than ever, Pain Management specialists use numerous effective treatment options to help patients who suffer from chronic pain return to normal, pain-free lives.  If you are suffering from chronic pain, don’t hesitate to contact one of our six New Jersey offices.

Dr. Alexander Klyashtorny is a Board Certified Physician in Anesthesiology and Pain Management and is dedicated to helping patients control or eliminate their source of pain, which improves the patients’ quality of life immensely. Dr. Klyashtorny accomplishes this goal by combining the results of the diagnostic studies, patients’ complaints, as well as findings he discovers during physical examination in his decision-making process to design an effective treatment protocol that is individually modified for each patient.