PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Trauma, surgery, and burns are three common clinical scenarios that are associated with significant acute pain. This review describes the pathophysiology of acute pain utilizing three preclinical models: surgery, burn, and fracture. RECENT FINDINGS: In general, there is greater interest directed toward peripheral mediators of acute pain. Studies indicate that treatment against nerve growth factor, interleukins, and ischemic-like mediators may provide valuable avenues for treatment of acute pain. By targeting the periphery, analgesic therapies may have reduced side-effects. SUMMARY: Peripheral mediators of acute pain can vary depending upon the type of injury. Treatment aimed toward those mediators specific to the injury may improve acute pain management in the future. It will be important to translate these findings into clinical trials in the future.
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