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What is Acute Pain or Acute Injury

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Updated October 17, 2011

Definition: Acute pain refers to any specific, sharp pain that is of rapid onset or pain that results from a specific traumatic incident such as an injury, or illness. Acute pain is very isolated, comes on quickly, but often has a limited duration. Acute injury is usually the result of a specific impact or traumatic event that occurs in one specific area of the body, such as a muscle, bone, or joint.

Acute pain from injury requires immediate medical attention, including first aid treatment with rest, ice, compression and elevation, or R.I.C.E. Common examples of acute pain from injuries include:

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