Acute Pain vs. Chronic Pain

Posted on October 24th, 2019 by Orthopaedic Specialty Group

From stomach pains to backaches, we all experience pain. Although in most cases the pain is temporary, other times the pain can be longterm lasting weeks, months, or even years. The duration, location, and cause of pain determine how healthcare professionals treat will treat it. 

Acute Pain

Acute pain is the most common type of pain we experience. It generally comes on suddenly and diminishes during the healing process. Some common causes of acute pain include:

  • Cuts, scrapes, or burns
  • Surgery
  • Childbirth
  • Broken bones

Acute pain can be treated with over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen, through physical therapy, or exercise.  However, acute pain as a result of trauma or surgery may require stronger pain relievers and more intensive physical therapy.  

Chronic Pain

When pain persists for more than three months, it is considered chronic pain. This type of pain requires a visit to your primary care provider to help determine the cause and the best form of treatment. Chronic pain can continue after the initial injury or illness has healed or even when there is no past damage to the body. Some common conditions linked to chronic pain include: 

  • Nerve pain
  • Back pain 
  • Headaches
  • Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia pain

Chronic pain can have stressful effects on the body, including a limited range of motion, tense muscles, and changes in energy levels. Chronic pain is typically treated with prescription pain medications and intensive physical therapy

The most important part of treating your acute or chronic pain is working with your doctor to understand the cause of your pain and develop a treatment plan that will bring you the most comfort. Our team of physicians at Orthopaedic Specialty Group provides pain management and rehabilitation services.

We take pride in offering a full continuum of pain management techniques as well as comprehensive physical therapy treatments. To book an appointment, contact us today.