Words and Definitions


We want to communicate effectively to health care professionals (as well as to our friends and family). Choosing the right words can be important, so here are some key terms, their definitions, and suggestions about how to use them.
Chronic Pain literally, this means pain which lasts over time. But beware! Some health care professionals use this as a category in which they put patients; these patients are told either that their pain is not a symptom of a serious pathology, or that they are the cause of their own pain. So be careful about identifying yourself as a “chronic pain patient.”

Persistent Acute Pain this label describes some, but not all, chronic pain patients, and helps the health care professional to understand there is either recurring or continuous pain reflective of an underlying pathology.

Arthritis comes in two varieties: osteoarthritis, a “wearing” of the joints from use or overuse, and rheumatoid arthritis, an auto-immune disorder.

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