September 15

The Differences Between Chronic and Acute Pain

September 15

Chronic pain and acute pain are two types of pain that describe how long an individual has been suffering from their pain symptoms. Although each type of pain can interfere with your daily life, it’s important to understand the difference between the two and the common causes behind each type of pain.

A set of six painful joints, medical 3D illustration.
A set of six painful joints, medical 3D illustration

What is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is any pain that lasts more than 3 months or past the normal amount of time it would take your body to naturally heal. There is a variety of medical conditions and situations that can lead to experiencing chronic pain such as arthritis, back injuries, nerve damage, and more. Unfortunately, chronic pain can significantly reduce your quality of life, and in some cases force you to modify your life around your pain symptoms.

What is Acute Pain?

Acute pain involves sudden, short-term, temporary pain or discomfort that often resolves once the underlying injury or cause behind your pain symptoms is healed. Typically, common causes of acute pain may be surgery, broken bones, burns, cuts, etc.
Although acute pain may not be as long as chronic pain, it’s still important to understand that acute pain can be severe and still impact your daily life. Therefore, if you are struggling with acute pain that interferes with your life, it’s critical you seek professional pain management treatment to treat your pain before it worsens and potentially leads to chronic pain.

What is the Difference Between Chronic Pain Vs Acute Pain?

The main difference between chronic pain and acute pain is the duration. In other words, how long or the length of time someone experiences pain symptoms. Typically, the underlying cause or reason behind your pain is a key indicator that can oftentimes predict whether you’ll be experiencing chronic pain or acute pain.

For instance, acute pain typically involves sharp, sudden pain that lasts for a short period before healing and resolving itself. Examples of common causes for acute pain may be an injury such as a cut or broken bone. While there’s no undermining acute pain, fortunately, many people 1) know the cause behind their pain and 2) can quickly heal from their pain.
Meanwhile, chronic pain persists more over a longer period of about 3 months or longer. In other words, chronic pain lasts longer than would typically be expected of the body naturally healing the pain on its own. Chronic pain can be gradual, such as some patients experiencing dull pain at first that worsens and becomes more severe with time. Or, some chronic pain may seemingly come and go.
Typically, it is more difficult to identify an underlying cause behind a person’s chronic pain versus an individual struggling with acute pain. Because it can be trickier to understand the cause of your chronic pain, this can make it a bit more difficult to find the right treatments to manage your pain symptoms. Pain specialists oftentimes use a multi-faceted approach of a combination of treatments to best reduce your chronic pain symptoms as effectively and efficiently as possible.
Ultimately, while acute pain and chronic pain are quite different, it’s essential you seek professional pain management treatment to manage your pain if it is interfering with your daily life, regardless of whether it is acute or chronic pain. A professional pain specialist will help create a custom treatment plan to best manage your pain symptoms so you can live a healthier, happier life.

Pain Management Hagerstown MD

In closing, understanding the differences between chronic and acute pain is crucial in the journey to wellness. Pain and Spine Specialists stand ready to alleviate your symptoms and significantly enhance your quality of life.

You benefit from our comprehensive services that encompass cutting-edge diagnostic tools. These allow us to pinpoint the source of your pain accurately, leading to personalized treatment plans that address your specific needs. We do not stop at merely treating your symptoms. We believe in compassionate care that considers your overall well-being, recognizing that pain affects all aspects of your life.

At Pain and Spine Specialists, you are not just a patient. You are an individual with unique experiences and needs. Our pain management doctors in Hagerstown Maryland are committed to providing care tailored to you, aiming to help you regain control over your life.

Today, you have the opportunity to take a decisive step towards a pain-free life. Schedule an appointment with us and start experiencing the difference our expert team can make in your life.

The power to improve your health and well-being is within your grasp. By understanding the nuances of chronic and acute pain and seeking pain management in Hagerstown Maryland, you pave the way for a healthier, pain-free life. Trust us to guide you on this journey with expertise and empathy, always committed to your health. Together, we can navigate the path to a life free from pain.



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At Pain and Spine Specialists, we are committed to delivering the highest quality of care to our patients. Our patient care coordinators are available to answer questions Monday - Friday from 8:30 am - 5:00pm.

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