Acute Injuries vs. Chronic Injuries

 Acute Injuries vs. Chronic Injuries

At Farmingdale Physical Therapy West, we know the kind of impact an injury can have on your life. Unfortunately, injuries can completely dominate your everyday life. They can affect how you walk, talk, work or prevent you from doing what you love to do. Therefore, our mission is to help our Long Island patients deal with these injuries quickly and effectively.

Obviously, in order to treat your injury, we need to understand it first. The best possible treatment depends on what precisely is wrong. There are two major types of injuries: acute and chronic. Many patients have questions for their physical therapists, specifically regarding these injuries. In this post, we’ll explore each one as well as the differences between the two.


What is an Acute Injury?

Basically, an acute injury is sudden and spontaneous. According to Sports Trauma and Overuse Prevention (STOP), acute injuries are usually the result of one traumatic event. Common examples of acute injuries include:

Of course, when you receive an acute injury, you should always apply common sense. For example: if your injury is severe or life-threatening, then you should seek medical attention right away. And if it’s a less urgent injury, then you can likely treat it yourself.

A physical therapist will assess your injury and develop a specific treatment plan for maximum results. First and foremost, their program will be created solely with your needs in mind. They will carefully guide your rehabilitation in order to prepare you for a swift return to the things you love most.


What is a Chronic Injury?

Chronic injuries are a lot more common than acute injuries. Usually, chronic injuries occur over time. This makes them difficult to diagnose and treat. Additionally, they’re the result of repetitive trauma to the tendons, bones and joints. Common examples of chronic injuries include:

  • Tennis elbow
  • Swimmer’s shoulder
  • Runner’s knee & jumper’s knee
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Shin splints

Very often, chronic injuries are the result of previous injuries that don’t heal properly. As a result, it creates a muscle imbalance, like weakness or tightness. In addition, a chronic injury can be the result of reckless, long-term habits, like unusual walking/running, improper cardio, training issues or non-supportive footwear.

Usually, physical therapists can heal chronic injuries with the right treatment and care. Some of the integral ways to treat chronic injuries involve identifying the cause of the injury, plus aggravating factors you can change. In addition, they will restore any restricted motion and rehabilitate weak muscles. Very rarely does a chronic injury require any invasive procedures, like surgery.


Acute & Chronic Injury Prevention

Whether the injury is chronic or acute, they must be treated immediately. The first step would be to stop the activity you’re doing immediately and perform the R.I.C.E. method. Some tips to prevent both acute and chronic are:

  • When jumping, land with your knees bent
  • Do warm-up exercises before any sport
  • Always stretch before you play or exercise
  • Cool down after hard sports or workouts
  • Wear shoes that fit properly, are stable, and absorb shock
  • Use the softest exercise surface you can find; don’t run on asphalt or concrete
  • Run on flat surfaces


Conclusion – Farmingdale Physical Therapy West

Whether your injury is chronic or acute, it’s important to treat it right away. Fortunately, at Farmingdale Physical Therapy West, our therapists are as gifted and competent as they come. Regardless of how severe your injury is, we’re fully prepared to eliminate your pain and get you back on your feet quickly.

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