Injuries Versus Conditions: What’s The Difference?

man holding his left shoulder

What’s the difference between injuries and conditions?

Wait, is there even a difference?

Yes, of course – the difference is this:


Injuries are typically something that happens quickly, spontaneously by way of trauma, accident or fall.

Examples being, getting injuries or injured due to:

  • falling down or off a chair
  • being hit by a car or vehicle as a pedestrian
  • being hit by a soccer ball
  • lifting a heavy object
  • etc

Events such as this causes an acute (and of course, painful) injury to the body or body parts.


A condition is generally something that took time, a gradual onset, to develop.

An example is a back pain that started as a mild ache off and on, and over a period of time and continued reinjury due to

  • prolonged lifting
  • carrying or bending at work
  • etc

which causes degenerative changes in a person’s spine, may be considered a condition.

Another example is a shoulder condition that has developed gradually over a period of time due to repetitive activities or repetitive use of a person’s upper limb, where the symptoms have developed or worsened gradually over a period of many years, is likely to be considered a condition as well.

Note: Some people use “conditions and diseases” interchangeably but it’s much more accurate to call orthopedic and sports conditions as conditions as they can be treated eg chronic back pain is a condition that can be treated to full healing and resolution; as compared to diseases such as diabetes that can be treated but never completely resolve – though this is open to debate as chronic back pain…is chronic ie long term in nature

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