How to Care for Acute Pain Vs Chronic Pain

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All pain is uncomfortable and affects our quality of life. To understand how to treat different types of pain, we need to understand the broader categories of pain and how they occur. Acute and chronic pain are very different conditions and while they can sometimes share symptoms, they are vastly different conditions and require different types of care. When it comes to finding treatments for pain conditions it’s important to have a few different options depending on your care needs and where the pain is localized. offers a wide range of pain creams and ointments that target different parts of the body directly. Let’s look at the differences between acute and chronic pain and what can be done to treat each kind depending on your symptoms and condition. 

Acute Pain 

Acute pain is defined as pain that lasts for less than six months and can be attributed to some physical event or injury. Examples of injuries that can cause acute pain are broken bones, bruises, sprains, or specific diseases and conditions. This kind of pain is our body telling us that something is wrong and serves a necessary biological function in managing our health. Usually, this kind of pain will dissipate as the injury heals. Treating acute pain is easy when the cause is clear. Topical ointments and pain relievers will do the trick for anyone suffering from mild acute pain due to injury. Also, if your symptoms start getting worse, it would be best to seek medical assistance as soon as possible You can click here and learn how healthcare experts can help you get rid of acute pain in your bones and tissues. 

Chronic Pain 

Chronic pain is more difficult to diagnose, because it is usually caused by an underlying issue that in some cases can be neurological. Chronic pain is pain that lasts longer than six months after a triggering event, physical or psychological. Chronic pain can be caused by an event like this just like acute pain, but it must outlast the time of healing after the injury to be considered chronic. 

Chronic pain and acute pain are related, but they are not quite the same. Chronic pain can be caused by an acute injury, but acute pain does not always become a chronic condition. Let’s take a look now at a few acute injuries that can cause chronic pain issues if not treated properly. 

Joint Overuse and Osteoarthritis 

Arthritis, specifically osteoarthritis, is the most common form of the disease because it is caused by overuse of the joints over a long period of time. This type of arthritis is more likely to affect those that do repeated activities for work such as typing, sitting, lifting or other physical tasks that strain the hand, elbow, wrist and shoulder joints. This kind of arthritis can be prevented by taking ample rest periods and varying the activities you do to include stretching and healthy exercise. 

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Partial HipJoint Replacement – Photo by: chrstphre ㋛ campbell – Source: Flickr Creative Commons

If you are already struggling with arthritic pain, stretching and exercise can help along with topical creams that include ingredients such as menthol and lidocaine. When absorbed through the skin, these compounds alleviate pain due to arthritis quickly and effectively without having to wait upwards of thirty minutes to feel any relief. 

Sitting and Chronic Back Pain 

The way you hold your body has a huge impact on the strength of your spine and core muscles. With so many of us working office jobs, we’re finding that being seated with poor posture is just as bad for our body as over working it. Treating chronic back pain starts by recognizing how you carry yourself and if there are any habits you can adjust to strengthen your back. There are many great posture aids that help keep your lower and upper back aligned properly while seated. Additionally, changing your daily habits to include a balance of rest and activity will do wonders for your musculoskeletal system. If you tend to be seated for long periods of time, take a walk or do stretching exercises to break up your day and give your body a chance to move. 


Treating acute and chronic pain can be tricky, and the first step is establishing which you might be suffering from and why. Chronic pain is always going to be more difficult to diagnose and harder to spot, especially if it stems from a past acute injury. For either condition, a healthy balance of exercise and safe medications will help anyone struggling with pain to deal with their symptoms and keep a clear head when it’s flaring up the most. As always, make sure you consult with a medical professional in addition to adjusting lifestyle and work habits.