Prognosis of Pain

Updated at: Jan 21, 2013
Prognosis of Pain

Prognosis of pain is variable and depends on many factors including the type of pain, the underlying cause and your overall health. Most cases of acute pain have a good prognosis and pain may be relieved by simple pain relievers such as acetaminop

Dr Poonam Sachdev
PainWritten by: Dr Poonam SachdevPublished at: Jun 18, 2012

Pain is a common reason for people to visit their doctor. Pain can be caused due to several varying causes such as injury, infection, cancer or simple headache. The character of pain can vary widely and can be sharp or dull, intermittent or constant or throbbing or steady. Prognosis of pain is also variable and depends on the underlying cause.

Prognosis of acute pain: Most cases of acute pain have a good prognosis. Pain is considered acute when it lasts for a few days. In most cases, this type of pain is intense and short-lived. Acute pain may be caused because of an injury and the pain subsides when the injury heals. Taking a simple pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen usually relieves pain. In addition to treatment given for pain, pain is relieved or at least reduced by treatment of the cause of pain such as if there is pain because of infection, taking antibiotics controls the infection, resulting in the elimination of pain or if pain is caused because of fracture, it is relieved by applying a cast.

Prognosis of chronic pain: Chronic pain lasts much longer than acute pain and may vary in intensity from mild to severe. Some common causes of chronic pain include

  • low back pain,
  • arthritis pain,
  • fibromyalgia,
  • migraine,
  • cancer pain and
  • neuropathic pain (trigeminal neuralgia, diabetic neuropathy, phantom limb pain, post herpetic neuralgia).

Prognosis of chronic pain is usually not as good as acute pain. Prognosis is influenced by many factors including cause of pain, your overall health and response to treatment. In chronic pain, many people experience remission (decrease or relief from pain) and recurrence (flare-up) of pain. People with chronic pain may need other treatments such as adjuvant analgesics (such as amitriptyline, gabapentin and pregablin) and non-drug pain treatment (such as cold or warm compresses, diathermy, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation and acupuncture) besides pain relieving medications.




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