Friday, March 5, 2010

Acute vs. Chronic

Acute conditions are conditions that are new. Perhaps they were caused by a trauma like a slip and fall, or an auto accident. Perhaps a youngster fell off his bike or skate board. Perhaps your body just wasn't ready for spring cleaning this year. These types of conditions normally need frequent treatments, especially in the initial stages. During the beginning of these conditions, there is typically swelling and pain, with difficulty in the performing of normal everyday activities. While the length of time acute conditions take to respond, varies depending on the severity of the complaint. The more thorough the treatment, the better the chance that the condition is resolved. This will help prevent the condition from turning into a chronic situation.

Chronic conditions are health situations that have been present for longer periods of time. In many cases an injury or illness that occurred many years ago is still present. Sometimes it is simply the nature of the condition. A diabetic situation is a good example. However, in many cases the chronicity of the condition was caused by not treating the original condition to the degree that was needed. In our chiropractic office, we see this all the time. A typical case would have a patient having lower back or neck pain. The patient is treated correctly and is recovering nicely. However, before full correction can be attained, the lack of pain leads the patient to stop treatment. Of course, the patient will continue with his normal everyday activities because he feels well. What the patient fails to realize is that these normal activities are usually the activities that, over time, brought on the original condition. It would be easy to see from this example how a condition would go on and on over time. At some point the condition becomes incurable, and has to be managed instead. This is the typical scenario of a patient who needs lifetime chiropractic care. Just like the diabetic needs insulin for the rest of his life, the chronic back patient needs chiropractic support to not only help his pain level, but to slow down the progression of the condition.