Acute vs. Chronic Injuries (Traumatic vs. Overuse Injuries)
An acute injury is one whose symptoms appear suddenly and worsen quickly, while a chronic injury develops gradually and worsens over a much longer period of time. It is not uncommon for acute injuries to become chronic in nature if not addressed early on.
An acute injury, although appearing rapidly, will usually disappear over time. There is usually a known physical cause. This may include a burn, a stubbing of the toe or a sprain of the ankle, or a fracture. Acute injuries occur more frequently than those of a chronic nature. And they usually require the intervention of a professional.
A chronic injury occurs over a long period of time. Over-training can result in a chronic condition, that often has its origins in anatomical or mechanical problems. For example, a flat foot will lead to pronation that can then cause patella-femoral knee pain, that if left untreated, will become chronic. The patient should reduce mileage, evaluate shoes, and terrain, begin a stretching program and address the mechanics of foot and leg functionality.