Pain is more than just a sensation of minor to extreme discomfort. It’s a contributing factor to a number of serious conditions, including depression and anxiety. Doctors often refer to ‘degree of pain’ as the “fifth vital sign.” That’s because pain can be a clinical barometer for what’s going on with your health.

Acute pain occurs suddenly, usually in a matter of days or weeks. ‘Subacute’ pain refers to pain that lasts an intermediate phase of time, generally between 6 to 12 weeks. Unremitting pain that lasts beyond 12 weeks is considered to be ‘chronic’ pain.