Acute pain lasts up to three months and settles with normal healing after injury or disease. Chronic pain is defined as pain that persists longer than the normal healing process following injury or a disease. The injury may have healed but the pain continues.
Chronic pain syndromes are recognised medical conditions in which pain predominates and persists. These syndromes are often complex and challenging to treat. Persistent pain can affect an individual in a variety of ways, with mood changes, sleep disturbance, impairment of physical fitness, and restrictions on social activities and working practices.
The cause of persistent pain is understood to be due to changes within the pain-transmitting nerves. The triggers for pain are lowered, the number of pain nerves is increased and pain messages are amplified.
Hover over the pain syndromes in the list below for further details or go to useful links for specialist patient information websites.