Acute vs. Chronic Pain: Not the Same
Chronic and terminal illnesses often require higher doses of medication.
Hello, I'm Dr. Robert Fenell, founder of HandAndFootClinicsOfAmerica.com, and I'm here today on behalf of About.com to talk to you about the differences between acute and chronic pain.Acute pain can be considered new pain or short-lived pain, and is generally cured over a period of time with the right treatment or medications. Whereas, chronic pain will live on for many weeks, months, or possibly even years. Acute pain is usually the result of some type of traumatic injury. It can be back pain related to a slip and fall, or neck pain due to a whiplash injury from a motor vehicle collision. Acute pain can also be the result of a repetitive strain type injury such as working for long hours at the computer on a keyboard, or from using hand tools or some other tedious activity. Acute pain can also be the result of some awkward body position for a prolonged period of time such as sitting up as you're sleeping with your head tilted to the side.Chronic pain on the other hand is usually related to some type of ongoing disease process or illness. It can also be the result of an acute injury, causing acute pain that never got treated appropriately, and it turned into a chronic pain cycle. Chronic pain can also be the result of mental illness, or emotional or psychological stress.The treatment for acute and chronic pain conditions is very similar many times, however acute pain will usually be treated for a shorter period, or at smaller dosages. Whereas, chronic pain can be treated for much longer periods of time, at higher dosages, if it's a more severe chronic condition the patient is suffering with. Certain chronic pain patterns may require a more potent dosage of prescription medication. Some patients may be suffering from chronic, severe illnesses or even terminal illnesses requiring a higher dosage of medication.Long term treatment plans involving prescription medications for product pain can carry significant side effects and health implications. For that reason, many patients are now considering conservative alternatives for their chronic pain conditions. Some of these conservative options include: massage therapy, acupuncture or acupressure, chiropractic manipulation, physical therapy, or even reflexology. As science continues to improve, there will be an improvement in medical treatments for chronic pain, as well as conservative treatments for chronic pain. Be sure to consult with your primary care doctor, to see what treatments would be best for your personal condition.Thank you for watching this video. If you'd like to find out more about this topic, please visit us online at About.com.