What are the Differences Between Acute and Chronic Pain?
A statistic came out in 2011 which stated that an estimated 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain on a daily basis. Sadly, this is almost one third of our population. Now the real question is, how do we categorize chronic pain? With the terms acute and chronic being used by doctors, how can we decipher whether or not the pain we are feeling will be long or short term?
At Ramos Center, we specialize in helping our clients treat their chronic pain and help them rid their bodies of unwelcome ailments. We understand the debilitating effects and our patients know there is an alternative life. We are going to review a few common ways to tell if the pain you are experiencing is considered chronic or acute pain and how you can begin to heal yourself.
First things first. We need to define what acute pain is compared to what chronic pain is.
Acute pain is often categorized by sudden and intense pain caused by a specific and known cause like:
→ Broken Bone
All of these circumstances will lead you to experiencing acute pain. Acute pain is also known to fade over time and is usually healed and unnoticeable by 6 months from the time of injury. Therefore, acute pain is considered a short term problem.
Chronic pain usually has a much slower build-up over time and is lingering. This pain can begin unexpectedly and without cause, but it can also come from acute pain lasting longer than 6 months. Unfortunately, the pain may last months to even years, with no explanation and with no apparent damage or injury occurring to your body. Symptoms may include:
→ Nerve Pain
→ Back Pain
→ Bone Pain
→ Muscle Pain/ Muscle Spasms
→ Joint Pain
All of these symptoms usually feel like a nagging and dull pain that is present constantly and will cause long term issues.
Here are some insider keys to help you determine whether you are feeling acute or chronic pain.
Has your pain been present for more or less than 6 months?
If your pain has lasted longer than 6 months, you should reach out to a chronic pain specialist.
Did the pain occurs suddenly or build up over time?
If the pain you are feeling came on suddenly, you likely injured yourself and should ask your doctor about methods of healing. If your pain built up over time, you should talk to a doctor specializing in chronic pain.
Do you feel like the pain is getting worse or better over time?
If you feel that the pain is becoming worse see a doctor, no one should have to live with untreated pain if the symptoms continue to escalate. If you feel like the pain is diminishing over time, it means your body is healing and you should begin to feel better.
If you believe you are suffering from chronic pain, call us today for help. In time, your chronic pain can itself become an illness we call chronic pain syndrome. Chronic pain syndrome (CPS) can be debilitating physically and mentally. We all deserve to live pain free lives, no one should have to settle for a life of discomfort or immobility. Please call us today to find out how we can help you get your life back!