Health conditions fall into two broad categories — acute and chronic. Understanding the differences between acute and chronic condition management helps you work with your doctor to obtain the best care possible. Take a moment to learn what type of conditions these categories entail as well as the treatments available.
Acute vs. Chronic Condition Management
“Acute” means sudden, such as suddenly breaking a bone or tearing a muscle. The pain associated with acute conditions is often sharp and severe; however, this pain lasts anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Acute pain is defined as any issue that does not last more than one month.
Doctors treat acute health issues with permanent resolutions in mind, such as setting a broken ankle so it can heal properly and fully or disinfecting and stitching a puncture wound from an animal bite. Resolution is also the goal for acute illnesses such as colds, sinus infections, and influenza. It is not possible to get the same strain of an acute illness twice.
Unlike acute conditions, chronic health problems may develop over a period of months or years. They are often connected to unhealthy lifestyle choices, such as smokers developing emphysema or people who consistently consumed high-fat, high-sugar foods — resulting in hypertension. Chronic conditions can also result from injuries, such as multiple car accidents that cause permanent spinal nerve damage.
These conditions do not get cured; rather, they are managed for the rest of the patient’s life. Doctors may suggest medication regimens to manage symptoms or physical therapy and medication combinations. They often recommend lifestyle changes as well to reduce chronic condition systems, such as enjoying a well-balanced, nutrient-dense diet, quitting smoking and alcohol use, and exercising every day. The right chronic condition management program depends on the patient’s issue and current state of health.
Diabetes, COPD, asthma, and arthritis are additional examples of chronic conditions doctors help manage every day.
Find the assistance you need for your acute or chronic health issue at Morris Park Medical Center — the walk-in clinic serving residents throughout the Bronx area of New York. Both adult and family medicine services are available for your convenience. Call this non-emergency medical center today at (718) 664-7679 to schedule an appointment or learn more about what the talented and compassionate doctors provide online. Like the Facebook page for regular health tips.