Pain management (also called pain medicine) is the discipline concerned with the relief of pain. Pain is a very personal and individual experience. The goal of NewYork-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital's physicians and nurses is to eliminate or reduce patients' physical pain.
Acute pain usually begins suddenly and is often clearly linked to experiencing some type of physical trauma such as surgery, labor and childbirth, broken bones, burns, or an accident. Acute pain often has a reversible cause and may require only temporary treatment. In most cases, acute pain does not last longer than six months, and it disappears when the underlying cause of pain has been treated or has healed.
In contrast, chronic pain often results from conditions that are more difficult to pinpoint or treat, and may take a longer time to reverse. Chronic pain persists despite the fact that the injury that may have caused it has healed. Pain signals remain active in the nervous system for weeks, months, or years. In such situations, the pain itself is frequently managed separately from the underlying condition of which it is a symptom. Pain can be treated in a number of ways depending upon its possible cause and the severity of the pain itself. Talk to your primary care doctor about any pain, especially any long-lasting or unusually sharp pain, that you may feel.
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