pathophysiology of acute, chronic, and pain.

�Identify the pathophysiology of acute, chronic, and referred pain. Consider the
similarities and differences between these three types of pain.
�Select two of the following patient factors: genetics, gender, ethnicity, age, or behavior.
Reflect on how the factors you selected might impact the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and
prescription of treatment for acute, chronic, and referred pain.

Pathophysiology

Acute pain is sharp and normally occurs abruptly in the neurological systems. This type
of pain often depicts ailments in the body associated with infection. The pain sensation begins
when the peripheral receptors become triggered, transmitted trough the spinal cord to the
cerebral cortex; leading to interpretation of unpleasant sensation (pain) and discomfort. It
normally ends as healing continues. Chronic pain is more of a continuation of the unpleasant
sensation after injuries. The transmission process is through the dorsal horn in the spinal cord to
the cerebral cortex. On the other hand, referred pain includes pain, which is not localized in the
stimulus site. However, there is no exact pathophysiology for referred pain, but it is suggested
that sympathetic fibers are affected forming painful sensations in other body organs (Bullock &
Hayes, 2012. P.461)
These three types of pain are similar is that point of sensation is through peripheral
receptors at the site of injury. Secondly, all the three types of pain involve the neurologic system
and its implication on the overall person health i.e. weakening the immune system. The

Running Head: Pathophysiology

2
differences includes that chronic pain is usually persistent and manifests for a long period of
time. On the other hand, acute pain is abrupt. Point of stimulation also differs, for instance,
referred pain point of stimulation is usually different from the infection site, unlike the other two
types of pain (Allerton, 2013, P. 8).
Age and genetics affects the pathophysiological process of acute, chronic as well as
referred pain. Genetic factors influence person’s ability to preserver pain, and rate of spread of
infection. On the other hand, age influences the healing process, and spread of pain. Research
indicates that pain spreads at a faster rate and more severe in elderly than in youth (Allerton,
2013, p. 4).

Running Head: Pathophysiology

3

Reference List
Bullock, S., & Hayes,M. (2012). The principles of pathophysiology. Philadelphia: Pearson
Higher Education AU.
Allerton, C., & Fox, D. Pain therapeutics. Cambridge. The Royal Society of Chemistry.

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