CE Pricing / Flex Credit

Save with tiered CE Pricing
Starts at $9.98 per contact hour
Min. Hours $$/Hr
4 hours $8.98
8 hours $7.98
12 hours $6.98
20 hours $5.98
30 hours $4.98

Pain Management in the Adult: Acute and Chronic Pain

2.0 Contact Hours
Target Audience: Nurses, healthcare professionals, and interested individuals
Purpose/Goal: The outcome of this course is for the learner to describe the differences between acute and chronic pain, describe causes and symptoms for each, explain pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic interventions for each type of pain, list barriers to effective pain management, and identify factors to consider when educating clients about their pain management regimens.
Add to Cart

Acute and chronic pain in the adult client have different causes, methods of diagnoses, and interventions. Effective health care providers understand these differences when they assess and manage their clients’ pain.

Upon completion of the course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Differentiate between acute and chronic pain in the adult.
  • Describe common causes of acute and chronic pain.
  • Describe common types of chronic pain, including causes and treatments for each type.
  • Discuss pharmacological and nonpharmacological interventions for acute and chronic pain.
  • Describe barriers to the effective treatment of pain.
  • Explain factors to consider when educating clients about their pain management regimen.

Pain is a universal experience for every human being and is an indication that something is wrong. Relatively few people have never experienced any type of pain, and those who lack the ability to feel pain have a rare genetic defect (called “congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis [lack of sweating]”) (U. S. National Library of Medicine, 2017).

For most individuals, pain is a negative experience, so they seek a quick way to end it. Medicine cabinets in the United States and across the globe are filled with home remedies and over-the-counter therapies as well as prescription and nonprescription pain relievers. Commercial options abound for headaches, sprains, strains, muscle aches, and other aches and pains. If their acute pain is minor, most individuals will attempt to treat it themselves without seeing a healthcare provider. More severe acute pain usually results in a trip to the emergency department or a visit to a physician (D’Arcy, 2011a).

Pain is defined by the International Association for the Study of Pain (2012) as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage. This definition is important as it recognizes both the physiologic and psychological nature of the pain experience. It also acknowledges that pain is highly individual and subjective (Wuhrman, & Cooney, 2011). Margo McCaffery first defined pain in 1968 as “whatever the person experiencing it says it is, existing where the person says it does,” and this definition is still relevant today (Pasero, & McCaffery, 2011).

The two major categories of pain are acute pain and chronic pain. Each one has distinct causes and characteristics. Both acute and chronic pain share similar treatment options depending on the cause of the pain.

Complete the course post exam (CE Test) with a score of 80% or greater. Complete all fields of the course evaluation form. Certificate of Completion is provided once the course post exam is passed per criteria above.

  • American Board of Managed Care Nursing
  • ANCC - American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • AOTA - American Occupational Therapy Association
  • ASWB - Association of Social Work Boards
  • California Board of Registered Nursing
  • California Department of Health, Aid, and Technician Certification Section
  • District of Columbia Board of Nursing
  • Florida Board of Nursing
  • Florida Board of Nursing - Certified Nursing Assistants
  • Florida Board of Respiratory Care
  • Florida Council of Dietetics and Nutrition
  • Florida Council of Licensed Midwifery
  • NAADAC - The National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors
  • Florida Board of Massage Therapists
  • NCBTMB -National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork
  • California Board of Behavioral Sciences


Practice Level:


Content Focus:

Domain of OT

Course Expires:

June 01, 2020

  • Cyndie Koopsen, RN, BSN, MBA, HNB-BC, RN-BC, HWNC-BC
  • Caroline Young, MPH
Jurisdictional Requirements:

Continuing education (CE) licensing requirements vary by jurisdiction, are not well defined, and may change. These CE requirements may vary in terms of the number of hours required to the types of courses that must be taken. ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC recommends you contact your licensing board or accrediting organization for the latest continuing education requirements of your state or territory. Compliance with CE requirements is the responsibility of the individual health care provider. Health care providers must understand the CE requirements in their jurisdictions, and be sure they are up-to-date on any rule changes that affect their license. For further information, please see our Accreditation Information.

Accommodations for Disabilities:

Every effort will be made to accommodate your special needs. To request accommodations, please contact us.

Conflicts of Interest and Relevant Financial Relationships:

The authors/planning committee members have no conflicts of interests or relevant financial relationships to declare relevant to this activity.

Commercial Support:

No commercial support has been received for this activity.

Non-endorsement of products:

Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing nursing education only and does not imply ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC approval or endorsement of any commercial product.

Off-label Use of Products:

None of the authors intend to discuss off-label uses of drugs, mechanical devices, biologics, or diagnostics not approved by the FDA for use in the United States.