Pain is a natural part of life for all of us. Some feel acute pain, while others experience chronic pain.

It is essential to be aware of the nature of your pain to provide your pain management physician with the information necessary to treat you more effectively. In this article, we will define acute and chronic pain, and list their differences. 

What Is Acute Pain?

A recent injury or the fast onset of harm to the body causes acute pain. It is possible, but not always the case, that inflammation will accompany it. Most of the time, you will be injured suddenly, like being hit by a car or falling off a bike. A large amount of physical force is required to cause damage to the body. Other causes of acute pain include inflammation and an organism’s defense mechanism against injury.

Other examples of acute pain is a sprained ankle or lower back pain. Another is a sore muscle that is the result of too much exercise. After receiving treatment for an accident or sickness, the discomfort will go, and life will return to its previous state. Acute pain is severe yet only lasts for a short time.

While acute pain may be uncomfortable, it serves an essential purpose: it alerts us when something is wrong.

How to Treat Acute Pain?

The degree of the pain and the underlying injury both play a role in determining the treatment of acute pain. Most pain management physicians would recommend over-the-counter pain relievers. Natural pain relief practices such as meditation and yoga can also manage acute pain.

What Is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is a long-term experience of discomfort. It can be triggered by many reasons, including a previous injury, illness, or disease.

One factor contributing to the exasperating nature of chronic pain is the fact that it focuses more on the sensation of pain itself. People who have chronic pain may, on any given day, suffer pain sensations ranging from mild to severe; nevertheless, these individuals frequently also experience a connected set of symptoms.

What Are the Causes of Chronic Pain?

The causes of chronic pain are varied, but they all have one thing in common–they involve damage to the body’s tissues, which can affect the nervous system, leading to chronic pain.

The worst affected areas of the body are the back, neck, and shoulders. An emotional condition could also cause it. 

What Are the Symptoms of Chronic Pain?

  • A sense of “slowness” and fatigue
  • Emotional disturbances
  • Changes in appetite
  • Constant pain, or pain lasting for more than a few hours at a time
  • Changes in bowel or bladder function

How to Treat Chronic Pain?

People who suffer from chronic pain require a healthcare practitioner with more specialized knowledge and frequently need therapy from a team of many healthcare specialists.


Acute and chronic pain are two different conditions that are often confused. While acute pain is temporary and addressed without medical treatment, chronic pain lasts for months and usually requires management care. To provide an accurate diagnosis, your doctor will need to know the duration, the type of pain, and the degree of your suffering.

If you have a problem managing chronic pain, contact Garden State Medical Group. We understand that living with chronic health issues can be difficult. That’s why we’ve created our comprehensive Chronic Care Management Program to help you effectively manage your conditions long-term. Our board-certified physicians will provide you with premier personalized service. Schedule an appointment today!

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