Pain is a warning system, alerting you that something is wrong your body. Neurons are specialized nerve cells that transmit pain signals are found throughout the skin and others. Most forms of pain can be divided into two general categories: acute and chronic. Acute pain is temporary. It can last a few seconds or longer but wanes as healing occurs. Some examples of things that may cause acute pain include burns, cuts, and fractures. Chronic pain, such as that seen in people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, ranges from mild to severe and can last a lifetime.