Pain Centre

Updated 07 July 2014

Symptoms of acute pain

Pain, when acute, is the body’s way of warning you of possible tissue damage, such as when you burn your finger, so what are the symptoms...


Acute pain often starts with an unexpected injury, or something such as surgery, and then it diminishes over time if there is no inflammation.

Read: What is Acute Pain?

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of acute pain cover the full range of possibilities.

They can start with a shooting pain that could make you cry out, or a stabbing pain in the case of something like a gallbladder infection. This is never something which can be ignored or overlooked.

Or it could be a dull pain, which acute pain often changes into, after the initial stages, such as when you are nursing a nasty cut.

Or it could be a constant ache, of which you are constantly aware, and which might keep you awake at night.

Sometimes acute pain can be throbbing, especially if a cut, a wound or a burn has become inflamed, or a surgical incision has not healed properly.

Pain can also manifest as a sensation best described as pins and needles.

People have differing abilities to endure pain, and what might feel like serious pain to one person might be no more than a dull ache to someone else.

Read more:

What is pain?
The importance of feeling pain
What is chronic pain?



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