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Adult Pain: Treatment, Management, and Support


Pain is your body's way of telling you that something is wrong. You feel pain through nerves in your skin and organs that send pain signals to your brain. You may have pain from an injury, an illness or health problem, or after a surgery or procedure. 

Pain may be described in many ways:

  • Acute pain starts quickly and lasts a short time, usually less than 2 to 3 months.
  • Chronic pain (or persistent pain) is long-term pain or pain that keeps coming back for longer than 3 months. Acute pain may transition into chronic pain.

Pain is personal and it's different for everyone. Anyone of any age can have pain. You can have pain and also do your daily activities, or sometimes pain can stop you from living your life the way you want.

There are different treatments for pain and different ways to manage it. What's right for you depends on why you have pain, the type of pain you have, and how long you've had pain. Treatments may involve treating the pain itself and treating the problem that is causing pain or making the pain worse.

Your healthcare professional may decide to order some laboratory tests to look for infection, inflammation, or disease that could be the cause of your pain. Or they may need to order imaging tests such as x-ray, ultrasound, CT scan or MRI.

The information here can help you understand what pain is and ways to manage it ​(video). Choose a topic from the menu to learn more about it. Talk to your healthcare team to learn more about your pain and what treatments are right for you. 

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