Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience usually arising from actual or potential tissue damage. Acute pain can be a difficult medical problem to diagnose and treat. It may be caused by many events or circumstances. Symptoms can last hours, days, or weeks and are commonly associated with tissue injury, inflammation,
a surgical procedure, childbirth, or a brief disease process. Other types of pain may be classified as chronic (pain of long duration), neuropathic (pain resulting from damage to nerves), psychogenic (pain not due to visible signs of disease or injury), or cancer-related (effects of a malignant disease on the body). The January 2, 2008,
issue of JAMA includes an article that identifies trends in the prescription of medicines to treat acute pain in US emergency departments.