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Acute vs Chronic Pain

Ouch, that hurts!

Pain occurs when something hurts, causing an uncomfortable or unpleasant feeling. This pain we feel often means something is wrong, and our body is trying to tell us that.

In most cases this pain is temporary (or Acute). However, other times pain can persist for several weeks, months, or years (Chronic).

Let's look at more differences between Acute vs Chronic Pain.

Acute pain usually comes on suddenly and is caused by something specific. This pain usually does not last longer than six months. It goes away when there is no longer an underlying cause for the pain.

For Example:






🤕Burns or cuts

Chronic pain can be ongoing and can last longer than six months. In some cases, chronic pain begins as acute pain but continues for months or years after an injury or illness because the underlying cause of the chronic pain has not been resolved. Additionally, a Chronic condition can cause flare ups which may lead to intermittent episodes of acute pain.

Examples of underlying long-term medical conditions that may cause epsiodes of pain include:





🤕Nerve Pain

🤕Joint Pain

🤕Autoimmune conditions

Acute Pain vs Chronic Pain Symptoms:

Symptoms of Acute Pain are the same as those typically endured with an injury and can include, stabbing, shooting, throbbing, or a burning sensation.

Symptoms of Chronic Pain can manifest itself in various ways. Usually, the person will feel a pain that won’t subside. Depending on the health condition that’s causing it, the pain can range from mild to debilitating. The sensation can be defined as shooting, aching, burning, soreness, tightness, or stiffness.

In addition, due to its longevity and persistence, chronic pain has a negative impact on many other areas of a person’s life. As a result, the patient can also experience difficulty sleeping, exhaustion, irritability, anxiety, and depression.

Tips for managing both Acute and Chronic Pain:

😀Rest the affected part of the body

😀Apply heat and/or ice

😀Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen; or acetaminophen. Your doctor's clearance is important to obtain prior to taking any medication.

😀Stress reduction- studies show that stress can intensify chronic pain.

😀Learn deep breathing or meditation to help you relax.

😀Exercise and continue to stay active

😀Bioelectric therapy (using local electrical stimulation to moderate pain)

😀Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy is often one of the most efficient and useful interventions when you have an acute injury or chronic long-term pain. It can make you stronger and help you move and feel better.

How does Physical Therapy help with pain?

Physical Therapy can help identify the root cause and address why the patient is feeling a particular sensation. Physical Therapy can help to improve range of motion and strengthen related muscle groups to increase mobility, endurance, and function. Your Physical Therapist will create a personalized treatment plan to ease pain and help you move and feel better.

Unlike other methods of reducing pain, Physical Therapy aims not to just stop pain temporarily, but for the long term by determining the root cause of your pain.

Visit our website to learn more about how F.I.T. PT can help you live a pain free life!

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