What Is The Difference Between Acute & Chronic Pain?

Most of us suffer with some type of pain as we go through life. Sometimes it comes and goes, other times it hits us between the teeth, and sometimes it stays with us much longer than we want. Knowing what kind of pain you have can help you manage it. What is the difference between acute & chronic pain?

That Tap On The ShoulderDepressed mature woman lying in bed with bottle of pills top view, covering head with pillow

Sometimes the tap of pain on your shoulder can bring you to your knees. It happens fast and furious and is what is known as acute pain. It happens after an accident like a broken bone, after a surgical procedure, if you cut or burn yourself, after childbirth, or after let’s say a root canal. That tap tells you something is seriously wrong, and it needs fixing.

Most times, acute pain is handled by medical professionals immediately, and it normally only lasts a short time with the right treatment. Six months is normally the extent of time you will experience acute pain.

Be advised though, if acute pain is not treated appropriately and in a timely fashion, it can become chronic.

That Frequent Tap On The Shoulder

This frequent tap of pain might be with you from morning till night. It could be there sometimes and go away. It might be worse at certain times of the day or when you are doing specific activities. This is called chronic pain. It stays with you, and if it lasts even intermittently for six months, it qualifies as chronic pain.

It is estimated that one in four adults live with chronic pain. Some people experience it even without any earlier issue as a cause.

Common types include the following examples:

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Arthritis pain
  • Migraines
  • Cancer
  • Fibromyalgia

Chronic pain is relentless and leads to other issues which actually can exacerbate the physical discomfort. These physical and emotional add-ons may result in other problems.

Managing Chronic Pain

In order to appropriately deal with chronic pain you must discover the underlying cause. Different causes require different treatments, and one type of treatment can increase the pain of another issue. It is important to find the right professional to help you.

Recommendations for chronic pain can include anti-inflammatory pain medications, physical therapy, massage, exercise, meditation, and relaxation techniques. These can all be helpful. Find out what works for you and lead a more productive life.

Contact Palm Beach Pain Institute to consider all your options if you suffer with chronic pain. Call (561) 499-7020 to schedule an appointment at our office in Delray Beach, FL.


phone number

request an appointment