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Acute vs Chronic Pain Treatment

Acute vs Chronic Pain Treatment

If you’re suffering from pain and have visited a specialist to find the right treatment plan then you may be confused by their medical jargon. When doctors talk about acute pain, they are referring to issues that developed seemingly out of nowhere. In contrast, chronic issues tend to have a more gradual development process. These issues tend to last months, years, or even a lifetime and can be more difficult to deal with. Acute pain and chronic pain have different treatment options. In this article, we highlight causes and treatment options for acute and chronic pain.

Acute vs Chronic Pain Treatment

Causes of Acute Pain

There are many different causes of acute pain. The most common cause of acute pain is injuries. If you pull a muscle at the gym, acute pain can be severe but is short-term. However, that is if you get proper treatment before permanent damage occurs.

Other causes of acute pain include surgery, burns, cuts, childbirth, dental work, etc. Once the pain subsides you will then be able to resume your life as it was. Acute pain tends to subside in a relatively short period of time.

Causes of Chronic Pain

The causes of chronic pain tend to be more severe and can be harder to alleviate. Chronic pain will likely take a long-term targeted treatment plan in order to resolve the core problem.

Chronic pain can manifest in multiple. This includes headaches, chronic back pain, nerve pain, and even reduced mobility in various areas of your body period. There are also many congenital problems that may cause chronic pain. This is especially true for those of the nerve variety.

Diagnosing Acute Pain

As a rule of thumb, acute pain is far easier for doctors to diagnose. This is because patients tend to have a clear idea of what caused the issue to arise in the first place. If the patient doesn’t remember one single instance, the problem should still be fairly easy to spot via tests. For example, even if the patient manages to crack a rib without realizing it, a simple x-ray will show the doctors exactly what the cause of the acute pain is.

Diagnosing Chronic Pain

Diagnosing chronic pain can be much harder since the underlying issues tend to be rooted over time. It is common for doctors to use imaging (CT or MRI) or blood work to find the cause of acute pain. However, the diagnostic process will go on a lot longer and require a lot of extra steps. Some doctors even refer to these as “invisible causes” because they’re difficult to pinpoint. Even with a different diagnosis, chronic pain is an uphill battle. There are many different things that could cause chronic pain. Therefore, without significant clues, diagnosis is difficult.

Treatment Differences

There are quite a few differences when you look at the treatment plans for chronic vs acute pain. Patients with acute pain generally rely on over-the-counter pain medications and bed rest. In contrast, chronic pain usually requires physical therapy as well as other rehabilitative measures.

The treatment of chronic pain also tends to be costlier than the treatment of acute pain. This is due to the fact that it is both more lengthy and also more complex. While you may be able to get away with over-the-counter medication for acute pain, the same is rarely true for chronic pain. In cases where patients suffer from chronic pain, pain relievers are best used for pain management and not as a solution to the problem itself.

Acupuncture for Chronic Pain

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), a number of studies suggest that acupuncture as an alternative treatment for chronic pain works particularly well. If you suffer from back pain, neck pain, or osteoarthritis/knee pain, you might consider acupuncture. Acupuncture also reduces the incidence and severity of tension headaches and may prevent migraines. If you wish to start acupuncture treatments for chronic pain, contact Southlake Natural Family Wellness today for more information.

Additional Source: Research Finds Acupuncture Effective For Chronic Pain

Southlake Natural Family Wellness

Our mission is to support the health and well-being of our patients by offering individualized, comprehensive holistic care including acupuncture, herbal recommendations, customized nutritional counseling, allergy elimination (NAET), whole food supplements, lifestyle suggestions, moxibustion, and cupping, as well as helping couples get pregnant and STAY pregnant by supporting all the paths to conception.

About Farrah Hamraie

Farrah Hamraie, L.Ac, MOM, Dipl.OM (NCCAOM), is licensed and board-certified in Acupuncture and Herbal medicine in the State of Texas with a Masters of Oriental Medicine from the Dallas College of Oriental Medicine. She is also a Diplomat of NCCAOM (the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine), a Board Certified Acupuncturist, Chinese Herbalist, and a member of the American Association of Oriental Medicine.