Acute Pain vs. Chronic Pain
Knowing the difference between acute pain and chronic pain is crucial to effectively treating your pain. Although recognizing the difference may seem straight-forward, pain is a complex reaction of the human body influenced by physicial, emotional, social, physcological and environmental factors.
Usually does not last longer than six months.
Usually subsides when source of pain is treated or the body recovers.
Usually mild to moderate intensity but can be intense and concentrated.
Usually the result of an acute illness such as appendicitis, an injury, overuse or surgery.
Usually does not result in emotional and/or psychological ailments such as anxiety and depression.
Rarely leads to chronic pain. Chronic pain may result in some cases if acute pain is not appropriately treated.
Chronic pain persists longer than the normal recovery time for an acute injury or illness.
Does not subside after source of pain is treated.
Related but not limited to chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, headaches, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, or vascular disease.
Chronic pain is often difficult to diagnose or treat.
Often the result of a previous injury.
Can result in emotional and/or psychological ailments such as anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, loss of libido, or sexual dysfunction.
Often results in disability.
Chronic pain can often be managed, but usually not completely eliminated.
May have started as acute pain that was left untreated.