Fast Five Quiz: Overview of Acute Pain Management

Shaheen E. Lakhan, MD, PhD, MS, MEd


January 14, 2022

Acute pain is a sudden physiologic response to noxious stimuli. Individuals may experience acute pain after a burn or trauma, or following surgery in the perioperative period. Patients with chronic illnesses (eg, arthritis, neuropathies, spinal conditions, low back pain, multiple sclerosis, sickle cell disease, migraine, trigeminal pain or neuralgia, complex pain syndrome) may also experience acute pain flares. Acute pain can diminish respiratory function, increase metabolic demand, hinder wound healing, suppress immunity, and impede mobility. Poor management of acute pain can contribute to increased morbidity, delayed recovery, protracted opioid use during and after hospitalization, higher care costs, and an increased risk for progression to chronic pain. Among trauma patients, it can also increase the risk for posttraumatic stress disorder. When treating acute pain, clinicians must assess the risk-benefit ratio of treatments to provide the best possible patient-centered outcome while avoiding unnecessary opioid exposure. Reevaluation of patients is also critical in this setting because medications to control acute pain should be used for the shortest time possible while also ensuring that the patient is able to mobilize and restore function.

How familiar are you with the management of acute pain? Test your knowledge with this quick quiz.


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