What is Chronic Pain?

Watch this short video to learn about the difference between acute and chronic pain.

Key Points:

  • Humans have evolved to feel acute pain as a form of protection.
  • Acute pain is what you feel when you burn your hand or break a bone; it needs time for healing and rehabilitation.
  • Chronic pain is not caused by tissue damage or a break, and cannot be found by most medical investigations like blood tests or x-rays.
  • Chronic pain is not just in your mind; it is very real.
  • In chronic pain, your super sensitive nervous system sends pain signals to your brain, even though blood tests and x-rays are normal.
  • There are many things you can do to manage your pain. Learning about how pain works it is a really good first step.

Helpful Resources

Pain BC website

By: Pain BC

Pain BC is a collaborative non-profit organization made up of people in pain, health care providers, and leaders from universities, government, business and the non-profit sector. We aim to improve the lives of people in pain through education, empowerment and innovation.

People in Pain Network

By: People in Pain Network

People in Pain Network is the only Canadian not-for-profit organiaztion providing peer-led pain self-management groups in Canada.

Pain Squad

By: The Hospital for Sick Children

The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto needed to find a way to encourage their young cancer patients to complete daily reports on their pain. With a little back-up from Canada's top police dramas, our innovative mobile app made this overwhelming task easy and fun.