The onset of pain is a symptom of illness or injury in the part of the body that is experiencing the pain. The sudden onset of pain is called acute pain. Acute pain gets a person's attention and prompts him or her to take action to prevent further worsening of the condition causing the pain. This could be a simple action such as the reflex that makes a person jerk their hand off a hot stove, or it could be more complex such as cooling, resting, or elevating an injured ankle. Moreover, the pain could prompt the person to see a doctor. Chronic pain is pain that persists over time (6 months or longer) and typically results from long-standing (chronic) medical conditions or damage to the body.