Frequently Asked Questions About Pain1. What is pain?
Pain is described as an uncomfortable feeling and/or an unpleasant sensation in the body. The presence of pain often is an indication that something is wrong, and can appear suddenly or come about slowly. The individual is the best judge of his/her pain, which can range from mild and occasional to severe and constant. Pain can be classified as acute pain or chronic pain.
Acute pain is defined as the recent onset of pain associated with a particular event or cause (i.e., accident, trauma, surgery). Generally, these pains go away in a few minutes or even a few weeks. Once pain persists past the three month mark, it is defined as chronic pain.
A recent Institute of Medicine report (June 2011) stated that acute and chronic pain affects large numbers of Americans, with at least 116 million U.S. adults burdened by chronic pain. The annual national economic cost is estimated to be $560-635 billion. (SOURCE: Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research http://www.iom.edu)
Doctors use urine and oral drug testing to assist in monitoring patients’ treatment plans. These test results provide a better understanding of medications and drugs a patient may or may not be taking, can help identify possible drug-drug interactions and often can help initiate a broader conversation about the patient’s physical and mental health.