Acute pain occurs when a injury, surgery or accident happens, and may not happen immediately, but within a few days of the injury. Depending on the cause, treatment may vary, but may involve a short term supply of pain relieving medications, anti inflammatories, ice, heat, and time for the injury to heal. Acute pain typically resolves within days or a few weeks, but less than 3 months.
Chronic pain is pain that continues PAST the healing of the initial injury/surgery that caused the pain.
Chronic pain can be either mechanical or neuropathic or may be both.
Mechanical pain is caused by an anatomical problem, i.e. a fracture that does not heal properly, a severe ankle sprain, misalignment of vertebre in the spine are examples of mechanical pain.
Neuropathic pain stems from nerve involvement and may include stinging, burning, electric zaps, numbness, tingling, skin temperature changes.
The treatments for Chronic pain are dependent on the cause of the pain.
Some treatment options include steroids, injections, physical therapy, aqua therapy, anti inflammatory medications, medications used to treat nerve pain, and in some cases opiates, ablations, topical pain relievers,nerve stimulators and combinations of any of the above to attempt to keep the pain tolerable.