When we’re looking at Migraine and headache information, whether it’s from our doctor, a book, or an online article, we sometimes come across medical terms that can be confusing.
Sometimes, it’s easy enough to substitute another word or a short phrase for the medical term. At other times, substituting just doesn’t convey quite the same meaning or takes more than a few words.
Some of you have expressed an interest in learning more of the medical terminology that comes up when discussing Migraine disease and other headache disorders. So, I’ll be posting a “term of the day,” probably a couple of times a week. If there are terms you’d like to have defined, please leave a comment to let me know what it is.
Today’s term: Acute.
Acute can mean different things depending on how it’s used:
- characterized by sharpness or severity (acute pain)
- having a sudden onset, sharp rise, and short course (an acute disease)
- providing or concerned with short-term medical care especially for serious acute disease or trauma (acute care, acute medication)
Most discussions of Migraine and headache involving acute refer to** acute** medications, medications taken for an individual headache or Migraine as opposed to preventive medications or IV infusions used to treat intractable Migraine or headache. Abortive medications are examples of** acute** medications.
You can read more about acute medications in:
- _Preventive, Abortive, and Rescue Medications - What’s the Difference?or more terms, see our Migraine and Headache Glossary.
Teri Robert is a leading patient educator and advocate in the area of migraine and other headache disorders, and has been writing for the HealthCentral migraine site since 2007. She is a co-founder of the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy and the American Headache and Migraine Association. She received the National Headache Foundation’s Patient Partners Award for “ongoing patient education, support, and advocacy,” in 2004 and a Distinguished Service Award from the American Headache Society in 2013. You can find links to Teri’s work on her web site and blog and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.
Medical review by John Claude Krusz, PhD, MD.
© Teri Robert, 2010
Last updated January 10, 2010
Author of “Living Well with Migraine Disease and Headaches”