Have you ever heard your doctor saying that your injury is an acute or chronic one? What are their differences? You need to know exactly what they are and what you should do. Their symptoms are different and the treatment methods differ as well. After all, it is your own body and you will be the one affected by it.
Acute injury is a sudden injury that is usually associated with a traumatic event such as clashing into another player during sports or a fall from a bike. You body undergo changes during this period and often it is a negative one. A traumatic impact can cause your bone to crack, muscles to tear or ligaments to snap. You will experience a sudden sharp pain that is often severe, immediate swelling and even cold purple regions in your body that indicates a lack of proper blood circulation in that injured part. You may even lose your stability if your knee ligaments are torn and you will be unable to place your body weight on it.
Chronic injuries can be also called overuse injuries. Like the name suggests, it is caused by overuse of particular part of your body either through sports or exercises. They develop slowly and last a long time. Their symptoms are mild compared to acute injuries and the pain they cause are also little. This causes the patient to ignore the injury and carry on with their activities. Over time, it will build up and cause more problems. Some common symptoms of chronic injuries include experiencing pain whenever you engage in sporting activities, swelling after each game and constant aching when you are not doing anything. In other words, chronic injuries are lifestyle threatening as they restrict you from participating in many things. Some examples of chronic injuries are stress fractures caused by repeated loading of a particular part, causing tiny cracks in your bone each time. Tennis players also commonly suffer from tennis elbow which is effectively pain near the elbow due to overuse.
Whether the injury is chronic or acute, they must be treated immediately. The first step would be to stop whatever sporting activity immediately and perform R.I.C.E. Out of these 2 injuries, the most dangerous one would be chronic injuries as their pain is minimal but will last for a long time. Patients will thus be unable to know the full extent of their injury.