A term that may one day replace "chronic pain." Persistent pain lasts longer than the expected healing time for an injury or illness, or if there is no injury or illness, persists uninterrupted for at least 3 to 6 months. It might also recur in intervals, rather than maintain a continuous presence. But if the intervals continue over a long period of time, it is still considered persistent pain.
According to the American Chronic Pain Association, many pain management specialists believe the term "persistent pain" is a more accurate description as it includes information on the way in which the pain might interrupt functioning, well-being and quality of life.