Acute Pain

Acute pain is a type of pain that is caused by something specific – such as a broken bone, burns and cuts, and childbirth/ labour. This type of pain is often characterised as sharp, sudden pain that lasts less than six months and goes away once the affected area has been successfully treated. It acts as a warning to your body that is under threat from disease and/ or damage.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of acute pain can vary significantly depending on the cause of the pain and the area of the body affected. It can be characterised by several sensations, either alone or at the same time. These may include:

  • Sharp pain
  • Throbbing
  • Burning
  • Stabbing pain
  • Tingling
  • Weakness
  • Numbness

Causes and treatment

As previously mentioned, acute pain can be caused by a wide variety of things, from cuts and burns to childbirth, surgery, and muscle strain. This type of pain can, and does, affect everyone at some time in their lives, however, some cases can be more severe than others, depending on the cause of the pain. While acute pain is often easily treated and may be short-lived, some cases can be more complex.

Again, the treatment used for acute pain varies from case to case, depending on the cause of the pain. For minor injuries, patients will likely be instructed to rest, and care for the injury – such as by using ice, a compress, and/or elevation. Over-the-counter medication may also be useful in less severe cases.

However, in more severe and complex cases of acute pain, more intense treatments may be required. These can include stronger pain medications, such as opioids, physical therapy, and in serious cases, surgery.

Medical Cannabis and Acute Pain

Medical cannabis has long been considered a potential alternative to strong painkillers for the management of pain. There is growing evidence that the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) plays an important role in pain signalling. This could make cannabinoids a useful therapy for pain management.

Our specialist physicians are experienced in assessing individual cases and helping to determine whether medical cannabis could be an effective option.

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