Health and Medical

Chronic Pain vs Acute Pain: Comparing the Types

Chronic Pain vs Acute Pain: Comparing the Types

If you live with some form of daily pain, you’re not alone. More than 20 percent of the adult population in the U.S. lives with chronic pain — that’s more than 50.2 million people. But what exactly is chronic pain and when is the pain you’re experiencing considered a long-term issue?

While no one wants to live their life in pain, there is a key difference between pain that’s short-term, or acute, and chronic, long-term pain. If you want to understand the difference between chronic pain vs. acute pain, this blog is for you.

Chronic Pain vs. Acute Pain: How Are They Different?

The main difference between chronic and acute pain is the duration, i.e. how long you’ve experienced the pain you’re living with. You tend to experience acute levels of pain immediately after an accident for example, where you’ve broken a bone.

Acute pain is short-term. It generally does not last longer than a few weeks and does not impair your day-to-day abilities in the long term. Acute pain is also isolated to one area and one event that caused the pain.

Chronic pain, on the other hand, is long-term pain. This means you’re living with some measure of pain for an extended period of time — sometimes months or even years on end. Living with chronic pain is also referred to as living in a ”diseased state”.

What Does Acute Pain Feel Like?

If you’ve ever had an operation, broken a bone, been in an accident, or given birth you’ll know what acute pain feels like. It’s intense, but it doesn’t last forever.

Some key characteristics of acute pain include a sharp, stabbing kind of pain, shooting pain, throbbing pain, or a warm, burning type of pain. Naturally, the worse your injury, the more intense/severe the pain.

Acute pain is very serious in some circumstances. If the pain is intense enough it can increase blood pressure to very high levels, it can cause breathing issues, and it can even make you faint.

What Does Chronic Pain Feel Like?

Chronic pain is a little more sinister than acute pain. At first, it might not start out as obviously as acute pain because it can manifest itself in numerous ways. Chronic pain is a type of pain that just doesn’t subside, and it often coincides with stiffness and general achiness throughout the body.

This type of pain is the result of a huge range of conditions, diseases, and illnesses. It can also be on the milder side, like a dull aching pain. Or, it might feel completely debilitating and inescapable.

Some of the side effects of living with chronic pain can have a serious impact on your quality of life. It can cause insomnia, restless sleep, exhaustion, mood swings, anxiety, depression, substance dependence, and more.

The most common causes of chronic pain are conditions such as arthritis, where you’d have to see a spine specialist to manage your condition. Cancer, nerve damage, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease, are also common antagonists of long-term pain.

Here’s How to Maintain Your Health, Long Term

If you’re wondering whether you’re living with chronic pain vs. acute pain, we hope this blog has helped you understand pain and its causes a little better.

As the saying goes, health is wealth, so check out the rest of this site for daily updates on all things health and fitness to stay in the best shape as you age.

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