Chronic Pain and Acute Pain



Chronic Pain vs. Acute Pain

Pain is an indication of some problem with our body. Pain occurs when something hurts, causing an uncomfortable or unpleasant feeling. The presence of pain often means that something is wrong. The best judge of your pain is you.

There are 2 different types of pain referred to as acute and chronic pain. When it comes to pain the types of pain does not matter and it can range from mild to severe. All pain can reduce your quality of life as well as prevent you from living the life you deserve.

Prevent Chronic Pain after Acute Pain

What is the difference between Chronic Pain and Acute Pain?

The main difference between acute and chronic pain is that acute pain typically has a specific, treatable cause. Usually, chronic pain is not easily diagnosed because it can be rooted in underlying, “invisible” causes.

Acute Pain

This type of pain begins suddenly and is usually sharp in quality. It serves as a warning of disease or a threat to the body. Acute pain is the result of sudden and specific reasons. This pain is sharp in quality that often doesn’t last longer than six months. The acute pain would go away when there is no longer an underlying cause for the pain. Acute pain might be caused by various events or circumstances, such as:

  • Surgical Pain

  • Traumatic Pain includes broken bone, cut, or burn

  • Dental Work

  • Labor and childbirth

  • Muscle strain

Acute pain may range from mild that might last just a moment or severe that could last for weeks or months. Mostly, acute pain does not last longer than six months, and it disappears when the underlying cause of the pain has been treated or has healed.

Difference Between Chronic Pain and Acute Pain

Chronic Pain

This type of pain usually lasts for over three months that can happen anywhere in your body. Chronic pain may be present all the time, or it may come and go.

Chronic pain can interfere with your daily activities including working, having a social life, and taking care of yourself or others. Chronic pain can lead to depression, anxiety, and trouble sleeping that can worsen your pain. This results in a pain cycle that’s difficult to break. Chronic pain may lead to fear of re-injury, which could limit your ability to return to work or leisure activities.

Chronic pain is the result of various conditions that include:

  • Headache.

  • Arthritis.

  • Cancer.

  • Nerve pain.

  • Back pain.

  • Fibromyalgia.

Stress affects the body, producing physical as well as emotional conditions due to chronic pain like:

Pain Cycle

  • Tense muscles.

  • Limited ability to move around.

  • A lack of energy.

  • Changes in appetite.

  • Depression.

  • Anger.

  • Anxiety.

  • Fear of re-injury.

How to Treat Chronic Pain and Acute Pain?

The pain can be treated by your healthcare provider with the help of oral medications and creams or ointments, such as over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, pain relievers, and creams. The pain can be treated daily but is not meant for long-term use. There are treatment options available without medication including physical therapy. This has proven to help you reduce chronic pain that would increase your quality of living while minimizing medication dosages. Other treatments include acupuncture and TENS stimulation. TENS units are external pads that provide stimulation around the area of pain and help reduce pain.

Identify Chronic Pain Level

If you suffer from severe chronic pain doctor may recommend injections that are a mixture of an anesthetic and steroid that is injected in the area of pain to help alleviate the pain.

  • Trigger Point Injections – These injections help relax and soothe tense muscles that are inflamed and painful.

  • Facet Joint Injections – These injections help inflamed joints in the spine. The steroid helps reduce pain and joint soreness.

  • Epidural Injections – This kind of injection is a strong anti-inflammatory that reduces pain around the spinal cord.

Chronic pain reduces a person’s ability to live their lives the same quality and extent that they enjoy. Knowing your options and treatment availability is important to maintaining the lifestyle you deserve and to keep you doing the things you love.

How can You Prevent Chronic Pain after Acute Pain?

Acute pain is the result of the fact the body has undergone some kind of injuries such as broken bone or strained muscle. Chronic pain is more complex than acute pain as it can involve the interaction of psychosocial, biological, injury or illness, and trauma factors. Occasionally, there is no identified specific cause of chronic pain.

It is believed that acute pain transforms into chronic pain when continuous nerve stimulation alters pain pathways, leading to an impaired Central Nervous System (CNS). It is also believed that genetics and circuity in the part of the brain controlling emotions impact the transition of acute pain into chronic pain.

Some of the commonly identified causes of chronic pain include:

  • Nerve damage due to injury, illness, or medications.

  • Damaged tissue.

  • Inflammation results from conditions such as trigeminal neuralgia (facial nerve).

  • Pain from acute pain that is prolonged by psychological factors such as fear and anxiety.

Chronic pain prevention is mostly a matter of taking care of your health and following your physician’s treatment plan. When it comes to pain, there are no guarantees, but there are some steps you can take to prevent chronic pain resulting from the known causes. Some steps address lifestyle risks.

The prevention steps of pain may include:

  • Proper medical treatment for the cause of acute pain.

  • Adhering to treatment plans.

  • Good sleeping habits to avoid fatigue.

  • Managing stress.

  • Developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Causes Of Chronic Pain


You can prevent chronic pain caused by not behaving in a way that aggravates a medical condition or injury or placing yourself in circumstances where you have a high risk of hurting yourself. Unfortunately, chronic pain prevention remains elusive.

Managing stress for Prevent Chronic Pain

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If you or anyone you know is suffering from pain, our expert providers ASP Cares will take care of your health and help you recover.

Call us on (210)-417-4567 to book an appointment with our specialists.

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