Is There a Difference Between Acute Pain and Chronic PainSEMGeeks
Pain is a sign that something is wrong in the body. Acute pain happens suddenly and lasts for less than six months. Chronic pain continues even after the injury is healed, lasting longer than six months. Sometimes, this type of pain has no known cause, making it more difficult to diagnose and treat.
It’s important to know what type of pain you’re experiencing because this will help your pain management doctor treat you more effectively. Let’s learn more about the differences between acute pain and chronic pain and their causes.
What is Acute Pain?
Acute pain usually comes on right away and is caused by something specific. Once the injury or illness is treated, the pain goes away and life carries on as normal. Acute pain is temporary but extreme. It lasts less than six months, with pain usually occurring for a few hours or days.
Causes of acute pain include:
- Broken bones
- Dental work
- Burns or cuts
- Labor and childbirth
What is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain is ongoing pain that lasts longer than six months. It’s believed to continue after an illness or injury has been treated because pain signals remain active in the nervous system for weeks, months or years. However, chronic pain can also happen when there is no illness or injury.
Chronic pain is linked to conditions such as the following:
- Nerve pain
- Back pain
How to Treat Acute and Chronic Pain
Acute pain, while sudden and intense, is easier to treat. It involves addressing the area of concern, such as a broken bone or torn ligament. Once the affected area is healed, the pain subsides and you can go about your life.
Chronic pain, on the other hand, is a bit more challenging to treat because it may be caused by an incurable underlying condition. In this case, chronic pain is treated with a variety of therapies that can be combined for better results.
Oral medications and creams or ointments, such as anti-inflammatories and pain relievers, can help reduce pain, though many are not meant for long-term use. Treatments without medication are often a better approach because they can be used long-term and improve quality of life.
Treatment for chronic pain may include:
- Trigger point injections
- Steroid injections
- Stem cell therapy
- Plasma-rich platelet therapy
- Physical therapy
Schedule an Appointment with a Pain Management Specialist
If you have been struggling with pain, and you’re not sure what type it is or where it’s coming from, contact Jersey Rehab today. Our pain management doctors will give you a full evaluation and determine the appropriate treatment plan for your needs.