Acute vs. Chronic Pain: What’s the Difference?

Young woman experiences acute pain in her shoulder

Pain, though a nuisance at times, is an important feeling to experience. It means that there is something wrong with your body. It’s your body telling you it’s fixing something or needs help fixing something.

But not all pain is the same. Some pains are more intense than others but don’t last long; others are constant and never seem to go away. Or maybe the pain recurs every few months.

Although pain varies drastically for many reasons, there are considered to be 2 main types of pain:

1. Acute Pain

Acute pain is an intense, sharp pain that lasts no more than 6 months. It usually has a specific cause, and once that cause is healed or removed, the pain goes away.

2. Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is any pain that lasts longer than 6 months. Chronic pain is often misdiagnosed. It can be caused by an underlying issue that is not something that can be healed.

Causes of Pain

There are many possible causes of pain, including (but certainly not limited to):

Common Causes of Acute Pain

  • Broken bones
  • Labor and childbirth
  • Sports injury
  • Cuts or burns
  • Surgery

Common Causes of Chronic Pain

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Nerve damage
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Back pain
  • Headaches

How to Treat Pain

Depending on the cause and type of pain, treatment plans vary.

Treating pain sometimes means considering a pain management treatment. This is especially the case with chronic pain since it never truly goes away entirely. For chronic pain, the best option is to find ways to ease the pain. And that’s what pain management does.

Traditional pain management plans often involve drugs, some of which can be addicting. Examples of prescribed drugs sometimes used for traditional pain management treatments include OxyContin (a legal prescribed version of oxycodone) and Fentanyl. Both of these highly effective, potent drugs are very addictive and can easily lead to overdosing.

There are also over-the-counter medications that can be used for pain management without as much concern for addiction, such as aspirin and ibuprofen. However, even the side effects of  OTC meds can conflict with other medications . For example, aspirin is a blood thinner and ibuprofen never leaves the body entirely.

At Memphis Regenerative Healthcare, we offer two alternative pain management methods for both acute and chronic pain:

1. Regenerative Therapy

Regenerative therapy is a procedure that uses a special type of cell that has the ability to change into many different types of cells. These cells are sourced from umbilical cord tissues and amniotic fluid harvested from the planned C-section of a healthy baby.

Nearly all cells in the body have a certain role and can only perform the jobs of that role. But these regenerative therapy cells are brand-new and haven’t been given a role yet. So when they are injected into the location that is causing a patient pain, these incredible cells transform into cells that restore, replace, and repair damaged cells and tissue. They work alongside the body’s preexisting cells, thereby accelerating the healing process.

This can ease chronic and acute pain and even improve patients’ mobility.

2. Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy

Platelet-rich plasma therapy, or PRP therapy, is an injection-based procedure that uses a patient’s own blood. Blood has many components, and for this procedure, the most important ones are platelets and plasma. Plasma is the liquid part of blood that makes it easy for blood to flow through the body. Platelets a type of blood cell that is used to clot wounds, an incredibly important part of the healing process.

For PRP therapy, our staff will draw blood from the patient and mix it through a machine until the blood’s components are separated. From there, we’ll take the portion that’s made up of plasma and platelets and prepare it for injection.

With more platelets being sent directly to the wounded area, your body will heal faster. This can really help with acute pain and some cases of chronic pain because it goes directly to the source of pain. With chronic pain, however, this does require regularly scheduled visits for these injections.

Ease Your Pain at Memphis Regenerative Healthcare

The experts at Memphis Regenerative Healthcare, located in Memphis, TN, are here to improve and manage your pain. It doesn’t matter if it’s chronic or acute; we want to help your pain and situation get better.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment or request more information.

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