SAN DIEGO — Although chronic pain impacts more than 100 million patients in the United States, contributing significantly to national medical costs, clinicians continue to struggle with whether pain represents a symptom or the disease itself, according to a presenter at the 2019 Congress of Clinical Rheumatology West.
“One of the concepts that I want to get across is that chronic pain is different from acute pain,” Robert W. Hurley, MD, PhD, director of the division of pain medicine at the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, told attendees. “Acute pain is the result of a specific injury, which, part of the definition is that the injury heals and goes away. Chronic pain is different in that it is persistent — it can last more than 3 months or it can last 25 years.”
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