What Is Acute Pain
Acute Pain: Acute pain is caused by injury, surgery, illness, trauma or painful medical procedures. It serves as a warning of disease or a threat to the body. It generally lasts for a short period of time, and usually disappears when the underlying cause has been treated or has healed.
- 1 What is the meaning of acute pain?
- 2 How many hours is acute pain?
- 3 Is acute pain normal?
- 4 What does acute in medical terms mean?
What is the meaning of acute pain?
(uh-KYOOT payn) Pain that comes on quickly, can be severe, but lasts a relatively short time.
What is acute level of pain?
Acute pain – Acute pain means the pain is short in duration (relatively speaking), lasting from minutes to about three months (sometimes up to six months). Acute pain also tends to be related to a soft-tissue injury or a temporary illness, so it typically subsides after the injury heals or the illness subsides.
How many hours is acute pain?
Faculty credentials/disclosure: – Regina Fink, RN, PhD, AOCN, is a research nurse scientist at the University of Colorado Hospital in Denver. Dr. Fink has held positions as oncology and pain clinical nurse specialist. She is co–principal investigator of a National Institutes of Health grant on palliative care and is on the speakers bureaus of Purdue Pharmaceuticals, Anestra Corporation, and Roxane Laboratories.
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According to the International Association for the Study of Pain, pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience arising from actual or potential tissue damage ( 1 ). Clinically, pain is whatever the person says he or she is experiencing whenever he or she says it occurs ( 2 ).
- Pain is commonly categorized along a continuum of duration.
- Acute pain usually lasts hours, days, or weeks and is associated with tissue damage, inflammation, a surgical procedure, or a brief disease process.
- Acute pain serves as a warning that something is wrong.
- Chronic pain, in contrast, worsens and intensifies over time and persists for months, years, or a lifetime.
It accompanies disease processes such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and diabetes. Chronic pain can also accompany an injury that has not resolved over time, such as reflex sympathetic dystrophy, low back pain, or phantom limb pain. In the USA, 23.3 million surgical procedures are performed each year, and most, if not all, result in some form of pain ( 3 – 6 ).
Pain in persons with cancer also remains a significant problem, with studies suggesting that as many as 30% to 40% of cancer patients at diagnosis and 70% to 80% of cancer patients undergoing therapy or in the end stages of life have unrelieved pain ( 7 – 12 ). The Mayday Fund survey noted that pain is a part of life for many Americans, with 46% of respondents reporting pain at some time in their lives ( 13 ).
It has been estimated that 9% of the US adult population suffers from moderate to severe chronic nonmalignant pain ( 14 ). Despite the existence of evidence-based guidelines, acute pain is not adequately addressed by health care professionals ( 15 ). Suboptimal pain management is not the result of lack of scientific information, considering the explosion of research on pain assessment and treatment.
- Yet reports documenting the inability of health care professionals to use this information continue to appear in the literature.
- Studies have found that two of the chief barriers for health care professionals are poor pain assessment and lack of knowledge about pain ( 15, 16 ).
- Additionally, clinicians’ personal belief systems, attitudes, and fears can directly influence the manner in which they and their patients respond to the varied dimensions ofpain management.
Recognition of the widespread inadequacy of pain management has prompted efforts to correct the problems by a wide variety of organizations, including the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), the American Pain Soci-ety, and the Oncology Nursing Society.
The development of practice guidelines and standards reflects the national trend in health care to assess quality of care in high-incidence patients by moni-toring selected patient outcomes, as well as the assessment and management of pain. JCAHO surveyors routinely inquire about pain assessment and management practices and quality assurance activitiesin both inpatient and outpatient care areas.
Assessment of the patient experiencing pain is the cornerstone to optimal pain management. However, the quality and utility of any assessment tool is only as good as the clinician’s ability to thoroughly focus on the patient. This means listening empathically, believing and legitimizing the patient’s pain, and understanding, to the best of his or her capability, what the patient may be experiencing.
- A health care professional’s empathic understanding of the patient’s pain experience and accompanying symptoms confirms that there is genuine interest in the patient as a person.
- This can influence a positive pain management outcome.
- After the assessment, quality pain management depends on clinicians’ earnest efforts to ensure that patients have access to the best level of pain relief that can be safely provided.
Clinicians most successful at this task are those who are knowledgeable, experienced, empathic, and available to respond to patient needs quickly.
How many days is acute pain?
Background – Pain is nearly universal, contributing substantially to morbidity, mortality, disability, and healthcare system burdens.1, 2 Acute pain has been defined as “the physiologic response and experience to noxious stimuli that can become pathologic, is normally sudden in onset, time limited, and motivates behaviors to avoid actual or potential tissue injuries.” 3 Acute pain usually lasts for less than 7 days but often extends up to 30 days; 4 for some conditions, acute pain episodes may recur periodically.
- In some patients, acute pain persists to become chronic.
- Acute pain is expected and ubiquitous following surgery.5 Pain is the most common reason for emergency department visits and is commonly encountered in primary care, other outpatient, and inpatient settings.1, 6, 7 The key decisional dilemma in acute pain management involves selection of interventions to provide adequate pain relief, in order to improve quality of life, improve function, and facilitate recovery, while minimizing adverse effects and avoiding overprescribing of opioids.8 Evidence also suggests that adequate acute pain treatment may mitigate factors that promote the transition to chronic pain.3, 9, 10 However, shortcomings in acute pain care have been documented.11, 12 In addition to the underlying cause of pain, patient factors that impact acute pain management include age, sex, race/ethnicity, pain severity, comorbidities (including mental health and substance use), genetic factors, pregnancy, or breastfeeding status.13 – 16 Timing of presentation and clinical setting can also influence acute pain management.
For example, postoperative pain occurs at a specific point in time and is often managed with multimodal strategies in a monitored setting prior to discharge, whereas in outpatient clinic settings, timing of presentation of acute pain is variable, and assessing treatment response is often not feasible.
Additionally, access and care options may vary.2, 8 Different acute pain conditions (e.g., musculoskeletal pain, neuropathic pain, or visceral pain) may respond differently to treatments. Therefore, a treatment that is effective for one acute pain condition and patient in a particular setting may not be effective in others.
Opioids, traditionally considered the most potent analgesics, are frequently used for acute pain. Therefore, acute pain management must be considered within the context of the current opioid crisis. Opioid prescribing quadrupled from 1999 to 2010; concurrently, the number of opioid analgesics deaths and opioid use disorder cases similarly rose sharply.17 In 2017, an estimated 47,600 Americans died from opioid overdose (approximately 17,000 from prescription opioids 18 ).
Until recently, policy efforts have focused on opioids for chronic pain, but attention has increasingly shifted to use for acute pain. Recent data suggest an association between use of opioids for acute pain and persistent long-term use, with some evidence of a dose and duration-response relationship.17, 19 – 24 In addition, some studies indicate that opioids may not be more effective than nonopioid therapies for some acute pain conditions, 25 – 29 and use of opioids may negatively affect recovery and function.30, 31 Opioids prescribed for surgery and other acute pain conditions often go unused, a potential source for diversion and misuse.32 – 34 The 2016 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) guideline focused on chronic pain, but included one recommendation to limit opioids for acute pain in most cases to 3 to 7 days.
This recommendation was based on evidence indicating an association between use of opioids for acute pain and long-term use.35 In the last several years, over 25 states have passed laws restricting prescribing of opioids for pain; nearly half of the states with limits specify that they apply to acute pain.20, 36 Although data indicate some effects of policies in reducing opioid prescribing, studies on clinical outcomes are lacking.
Is acute pain normal?
What is acute pain? – Acute pain is generally associated with normal health concerns such as illness or injury. The most common type of pain, acute pain is defined as short-term pain that occurs suddenly and is related to a specific cause. Acute pain improves as your body heals and lasts less than 12 weeks.
Does acute pain make you tired?
Causes – Factors causing fatigue There are many causes of fatigue. Some of the reasons people get fatigued are because of arthritis or another chronic condition depression anemia thyroid problems nutritional problems lack of adequate sleep or deconditioning.
- Treating these conditions often leads to a reduction or elimination of fatigue.
- Causes differ from person to person.
- Fatigue may be caused by one factor or it may be caused by several factors.
- Physical causes Disease Fatigue may occur with many types of arthritis and other rheumatic diseases especially those that affect the whole body (muscles skin blood organs as well as joints).
These include rheumatoid arthritis which can cause joint pain and swelling; lupus which can cause a skin rash joint pain and problems with other organs; and fibromyalgia which can cause extreme muscle aches and pain. The process of inflammation can cause pain and swelling and also may cause fatigue.
If you experience a “flare or period of worsening joint inflammation, you’re likely to become more fatigued. Pain If you have joint pain, you may use body positions that are less painful to your joints. However, these positions can put extra stress on your joints and muscles. This can lead to fatigue. The physical and emotional energy you use trying to deal with pain can make you feel fatigued.
Pain also may lead to fatigue by causing you to lose sleep or preventing you from really sleeping well. Anemia Several types of arthritis may be associated with anemia. This is a problem in the blood. It is a decrease of a key ingredient in your body’s energy cycle.
- Anemia makes you feel tired.
- It cannot be corrected just by taking iron pills.
- Being less active You may not feel like doing much if you’re in pain, feeling depressed, or if every task is a major effort.
- When you feel this way, for example, you may do less work around your house or yard.
- But if you don’t get enough physical activity, your muscles will get weaker and feel tired most of the time.
Other health problems Health problems of the heart, lung, and thyroid also may make you feel very tired. Emotional causes Living with any type of arthritis day after day can be emotionally draining. The following types of emotional stress can lead to fatigue: Depression The stress of an illness may make you feel sad or blue.
You don’t feel like doing anything going anywhere or being with friends and family. These feelings can make you feel tired. Being tired all the time in turn can contribute to depression. It’s a cycle that at times can be difficult to escape. Overextending yourself “Most of my fatigue comes from overdoing some people say.
Acute Pain Management – Hah
After all my years of living with arthritis I still find it hard to pace myself. The fatigue is always there in varying degrees. Sometimes it is difficult to know when I’ve reached my limit. I don’t always listen to the signals of pain and fatigue. When I feel good I push myself too hard.” Do you feel the same way? If you answer “Yes this may be one cause of your fatigue.
It’s natural to want to keep up with your regular activities. But with your arthritis, this may not always be possible. Trying to hide your illness from others Some people don’t want others to know they have arthritis. They push themselves to do the same things, at the same pace, that people without arthritis do.
This usually results in having to pay for it” later. Environmental causes Features of the environment (your surroundings) may add to your fatigue. Loud noises and warmer temperatures may be tiring. For the person with arthritis uncomfortable furniture lots of stairs and long waits may be very tiring.
arthritis flare depression pain anemia muscle weakness not enough exercise or activity emotional stress not eating properly not enough sleep lack of quality sleep overdoing daily tasks holidays
How is acute pain measured?
Pain scales – Pain measurement tools may be categorized as either single-dimensional or multidimensional scales. The measures require patient self-report on an aspect or aspects of the pain. The results must be viewed as guides and not absolutes. They should be viewed as only adjuncts to the history and physical examination of the patient.
- Single-dimensional scales Single-dimensional scales are a simple way for patients to rate one aspect, typically intensity, of their pain.
- These scales may be useful in acute pain when the etiology is clear, such as trauma, pancreatitis, and otitis media.
- However, they can oversimplify the pain experience and results vary between certain patient populations and different diagnoses.
The three most commonly utilized tools to quantify pain intensity include verbal rating scales, numeric rating scales, and visual analogue scales. Verbal Rating Scales (Verbal Descriptor Scales) utilize common words (eg, mild, severe) to grade pain intensity.
- The Melzack and Torgerson scale uses five verbal descriptors: mild, discomforting, distressing, horrible, and excruciating.
- Numeric Rating Scales are common and simple.
- Patients may be asked to circle numbers equally spaced on a page or verbally rate pain intensity using a scale of 0–10, in which 0 represents “no pain” and 10 represents “the worst pain imaginable.” Advantages of numeric scales are their simplicity, reproducibility, and sensitivity to small changes in pain.
Children that are able to count and have a concept of numbers may use this scale. The Visual Analog Scale is similar to the numeric rating scale, except that the patient marks on a measured line, in which one end represents “no pain” and the other end represents “the worst pain imaginable.” Other visual tools may use pictures of the human body for the patient to mark the location of pain. Faces Pain Rating Scale. Multidimensional scales Multidimensional scales are more complex and time consuming, but may measure the intensity, nature, and location of the pain, and impact the pain is having on activity or mood. These are useful in complex or persistent acute or chronic pain cases when intensity needs to be assessed as well as social support, interference with activities of daily living, and depression.
The McGill Pain Questionnaire provides quantitative measurement of pain and can discriminate between sensory and emotional aspects of pain. It can also be beneficial to detect response to treatment. It involves four parts and requires 5–15 minutes to complete. It primarily consists of different adjectives used to describe pain in three dimensions: sensory, affective, and evaluative.
The words are subdivided into 20 subclasses that are tiered to represent relative intensity. Distribution, temporal pattern, and intensity of pain are also evaluated. Two adaptations have been developed: the short-form McGill Pain Questionnaire (SF-MPQ) and the SF-MPQ2; which are shorter, easier to complete and more sensitive to change.
- The Brief Pain Inventory quantifies both pain intensity and interference or impact on function.
- It is used for patients with cancer, human immunodeficiency virus, and arthritis.
- It takes 5–15 minutes to complete and uses 11 numeric scales to address pain intensity, mood, ability to work, relationships, sleep, enjoyment of life, and the effect of pain on general activity.
The Brief Pain Inventory can measure the progress of a patient with a progressive disease and can show improvement or decline in the patient’s mood and activity level. Evaluating function is important in overall pain management. The Memorial Pain Assessment Card is a simple and quick multidimensional pain assessment tool for patients with cancer.
What does acute in medical terms mean?
(uh-KYOOT) Symptoms or signs that begin and worsen quickly; not chronic.
What does acute stand for?
: having a sudden onset, sharp rise, and short course. acute illness.