Acute vs. Chronic Injuries: What’s the Difference?

Ariana Purificati FuneInjury & RehabLeave a Comment

Musculoskeletal injuries affect bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, or nerves and can cause differing levels of dysfunction and pain. These types of injuries are usually classified into two categories: acute and chronic.

What is the difference between the two? What tools can be used to treat each type of injury?

This post will explain what differentiates acute from chronic, and how muscle scraping can be effective for recovery.

Acute Injuries

The biggest, most easily understood difference between acute and chronic is the onset of the injury. Acute injuries happen suddenly, often after a direct mechanism of injury such as a fall or collision. Signs and symptoms such as swelling or bruising are usually present and require some kind of immediate attention. 

Common forms of acute injuries include sprains, strains, dislocations or acute fractures. The early phases of treatment usually include bracing or isolating the area, followed by restoring strength and mobility of the tissue or joint that was lost due to the injury. If these types of injuries are not treated and healed properly, they can become chronic or recurrent.

Chronic Injuries

Chronic injuries, on the other hand, have more of an insidious onset in which there wasn’t a specific incident that caused the injury. These injuries, such as stress fractures or tendinitis, develop over long periods of time as a result of many smaller events or microtraumas. 

Treatment can be similar to that of acute injuries, a mix of passive and active treatments to restore strength and mobility in the area. Of equal importance is learning the proper form during physical activity to reduce the imbalances that are causing chronic injuries.

Recurrent Injuries

Another sub-category of musculoskeletal injury is recurrent injuries. These occur in cases in which an acute injury heals in a weakened or stretched position, leading to further dysfunction in the area. The joint or tissue remains unstable and susceptible to reinjury after improper or incomplete rehabilitation. 

Where do Sidekick Tools come in?

Sidekick tools are essential to chronic injury recovery. Muscle scraping brings fresh blood flow to the area to stimulate the healing process. Blood flow supplies nutrients and removes toxic waste to create an ideal environment for injuries such as tendinitis and fasciitis. This toxic waste includes scar tissue or other adhesions that have built up over time to restrict proper movement in the area, contributing to chronic injury. Muscle scraping has also been shown to improve range of motion and mobility, therefore reducing imbalances that have, or have the potential to cause chronic injuries to occur. 

Struggling with a chronic injury? Pick up your own Sidekick tool today! Whether it’s golfer’s elbow, plantar fasciitis, or shin splints, check out our other blog posts for specific tips and tricks based on your injury. 

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Ariana Purificati Fune

Ariana is a Certified Personal Trainer and holds a BSc in Kinesiology. She has a passion for making fitness inclusive and accessible to everyone.

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