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Pain Management Blog



16Nov

Difference Between Acute and Chronic Pain

Republic Pain Specialists sees pain of all types. Location, cause, magnitude, and duration are all factors that make every person’s pain a unique combination to them. Acute and Chronic pain are words we use quite a bit, but what are the differences between the two? Do those differences impact the type of care and treatment you receive? Either way, our patients want answers and the chance to get back to their everyday lives. And we want to provide that for them. 

Acute Pain

Acute pain is pain that can, usually, be defined with a little clarity. We see acute pain when a specific injury or procedure has caused the pain and there is a specific time frame consistent with the cause that makes sense for the pain to be occurring. According to an article published in the Mt. Sinai Journal of Medicine, acute pain “serves a useful biological purpose.” This pain is usually in response to healing or reminding the body to heal whether from post-operative pain or a skeletal muscle spasm that needs care.

Chronic Pain

Chronic pain may have originally onset because many of the similar causes of acute pain, but has lasted longer than the expected duration of time associated with pain in those cases. Extending far beyond the typical course of healing, chronic pain lingers. This type of pain also can impact the emotional and psychological health of a patient as they deal with long term limited mobility, loss of certain functions, and the inability to resume normal activities. According to UC Davis, “emotional effects include depression, anxiety, anger, and fear of re-injury.”

Treatment

Whether the pain is labeled as acute or chronic, pain poses many problems for patients and for the country in general. With $65 billion lost each year and 650 million missed work days attributed to pain, there are significant gains we can make by understanding and treating pain better. While acute pain may be more direct in how we will begin treatment, our process is similar either way. In cases of both acute and chronic pain, we want to understand the pain by getting a history from our patients, helping them to rate the pain, finding the source of pain, and coming up with a multimodal treatment plan that makes sense for the patient. This treatment will vary from patient to patient, much more than how we label the pain, particularly in regards to calling it acute or chronic.

If you, or someone you care for, is experiencing pain, with or without explanation, contact us today. Republic Pain Specialists have a variety of techniques at our disposal to assist in relieving your pain and getting you back to your everyday lives. We are equipped to offer several services ourselves and work with a variety of people in our community, from yoga instructors to strength and conditioning coaches to dietitians to help solve the pain problems you have.

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