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Difference between an acute and a chronic injury


How can we injure ourselves?

To injure you, you do not need to suffer a monumental fall to the ground, or be hit by a car, believe it or not, the fact that you can be linked to a simple upheaval of the ground (it is important to know how to lift objects from the ground ). For example, there have been cases in which some people have been seen with harmful contusions after getting out of bed due to a wrong movement in the axes of their legs, which means that an injury can be caused by multiple circumstances, many times, to sport.

Other classifications: As we mentioned, an injury does not necessarily have to be after practicing an exercise routine, and similarly it can be divided into two: acute and chronic injuries , whose characteristics are completely different, which also translates into types of alternative treatments and medication that may be easier or more complex depending on many factors such as:

  • Injury area.
  • Type of injury
  • Muscles committed.
  • Nerves to evaluate.
  • Joints that have been affected.
  • Time elapsed since the injury and until medical attention.
Differences between an acute and chronic injury

Type of injury: Determining the type of injury is a key factor and we will try to differentiate it to make this process easier. As we already said, there are two types that are divided into acute and chronic.

Acute injuries:

Acute contusions are those that occur particularly during the practice of a sports discipline or at least after a sudden turn. Perhaps you have noticed this type of injury while watching a football game and from one moment to another a player (after a physical contact), falls to the ground complaining of some type of pain in their limbs. When this happens, it means that the internal alterations have begun and the pain will increase rapidly accompanied by swelling, this requires instantaneous immobilization and specialized attention.

Symptoms of acute injuries: Acute injuries can present one or more of these symptoms and can appear at different times:

  • Severe and sudden pain.
  • Swelling and redness of the affected area.
  • Not being able to lean on the area, knee or foot.
  • Pain in the entire limb, so the injury was only in one part. (For example in the case of the ankle the pain radiates to the leg).
  • Difficulties in the normal movement of a joint.
  • Extreme weakness in the affected limb (for example in the arm)
  • Bone or joint visibly out of place.

Chronic injuries:

In contrast to the acute ones, the chronic lesions manifest the symptoms as such after the practice of a routine that takes a long time. Similarly, it can occur when an extremely sharp movement is made after spending a long time in one position.

Symptoms of chronic injuries: The symptomatology of chronic injuries, usually presents a time after having finished with sports and we can find the following:

  • Pain while playing, or even walking (in the case of feet).
  • Mild pain even when you are at rest.
  • Swelling that increases gradually.

The treatment of chronic injuries can range from physical therapy sessions, through medications to surgery. It will be a doctor who must make these decisions.

The immediate treatment to an acute injury?

The HICER method (or RICE) as a temporary remedy while seeking medical attention or after it:Although when an injury occurs you must seek immediate medical attention, there is a very valuable method that can be very helpful and is known as the HICER method, which translates into Ice, Understanding, Elevation and Rest (RICE, its acronyms belong to English):

  • Ice: What you need to do is place an ice pack on the affected area (of injury) for 20 minutes, four to eight times a day. It is important to remove the ice after 20 minutes, to avoid possible burns by the cold (you can see this interesting article that will teach you when you must put cold or heat in an injury )
  • Compression: To reduce swelling and pain, it is important to distribute the pressure around the affected area. For this, the use of a special bandage, boot or plaster, including the splint, is recommended. Generally a doctor will respond more effectively depending on the affected area.
  • Elevation: It is always important that any type of condition related to the body, stay above the heart, in the case of injuries it is better to keep the injured area completely elevated, for this you can help yourself with a pillow.
  • Rest: When there is an injury, or better is to stay in bed without supporting the affected foot, or without straining with the right hand.

Final recommendation: It is always better not to take pain, because this type of ailments are sometimes more serious than you think, since in that area there are fragile elements such as synovial fluid, and nerve endings.

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