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What’s the Difference Between Chronic Pain and Acute Pain?

Acute Pain. Chronic Pain. What's the Difference?

Pain can range from a feeling that is mild and occasional to one that is severe and constant -- and all ranges in between. Pain specialists use the terms "acute" and "chronic" to describe their patients' pain. What these terms mean is explained below.

What is Acute Pain

Acute pain begins suddenly. It is a sharp or severe feeling of pain that, fortunately, doesn't last long. Acute pain is often a warning to your body to stop the activity causing the pain; and a signal to you to take care of the body part feeling the pain.

Sometimes the pain does last awhile, as in the case of a broken leg still hurting as it heals. But the pain does end, once the injury has healed.

Chronic Pain

A pain that is described as "chronic" is one that persists for over 3 months. Certain conditions, such as arthritis and diabetes, can also lead to chronic pain. This type of pain can last for months or even years. Neck or back pain caused by a herniated or degenerative disc can also be a source of chronic pain. Beyond the painful feeling, other physical effects can be:

Emotional effects from long term pain can include:

Pain is generally diagnosed as "chronic" if the patient has suffered for at least three months. But pain sufferers are encouraged to speak to a medical professional if the patient feels the pain has lasted for longer than should be reasonably expected -- i.e., one does not have to suffer for three months before seeking medical advice.

Chronic Pain Treatment in Fort Wayne

At Busch Chiropractic in Fort Wayne we believe that each individual is the best judge of the severity of his or her own pain. Our philosophy is to take a "patient-centered" approach -- getting to know each individual's medical history, pain concerns and lifestyle. We listen to our patients and customize our care options to each unique patient. Schedule an appointment today if chronic pain is impacting your life. You don't have to live with pain!

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