"Acute" and "chronic" are two adjectives which are often misunderstood. They have nothing to do with the severity or seriousness of a condition but refer instead to its duration - how long it has been present. Arbitrarily, acute conditions have been present for less than 3 months, chronic for more than 3-6 months. Between 3 and 6 months is a grey area. If you prick you finger, jab yourself in the eye, have a ruptured appendix, sprain your ankle, or have surgery, those give rise to acute pain. The human body is so resilient at healing itself that most injuries are better within 3 months, often sooner. Acute pain is usually due to physical causes. The longer chronic pain has been present the more social, financial and emotional factors contribute to the whole burden of suffering the person experiences. Intervening before a condition becomes chronic is preferable.
David is a fan of books and no doubt will be sharing some good reads here.