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CHRONIC PAIN

DEFINITION 

Definition: “Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in these terms” (IASP).
The term "Sensory" means that we can specify the characteristics of the pain: its location? what to compare it to? its intensity? its evolution over time?
The term "Emotional" means that, by nature, the pain being unpleasant, it can be more or less bearable, painful, distressing.

Pain is a subjective and individual phenomenon, which makes it difficult to communicate. 

Pain works like an alarm signal. Its main role is to protect the body. Without it, we would not be aware that there is a “physical” lesion (for example a fracture). It encourages us to pay attention to the injured area, to be aware of the danger (for example, a burn provokes an immediate withdrawal reaction to stop the injury), and to seek care.

When the pain persists, it can also go “in memory”. Thus, in a situation that risks provoking pain that has already been experienced, the spontaneous, thoughtless reaction will be to avoid it.

SHARP PAIN
CHRONIC PAIN

Acute pain plays an alarm role that will allow the body to react and protect itself against a mechanical, chemical or thermal stimulus. Take for example, a burn to the hand: in the injured area, there is local release of substances which will provoke the excitation of “specialized” nerve endings; these endings send an alarm signal to the brain: “Danger! Alarm !" This is a sharp pain.

If the acute pain persists beyond three months, it evolves into chronic pain. This sensation then loses its meaning as an alarm signal: the pain is no longer a symptom but becomes a disease. This category includes certain muscle and joint pains, migraine  or pain associated with nerve damage. The persistence of pain has physical and psychological consequences and leads to changes, which will contribute to the pain: this is pain-illness.

Différence entre douleur aiguë et chronique
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