Fighting Chronic Pain with Physical Therapy

Sep10th 2021

Treat Your Chronic Pain Safely!

Any pain that lasts longer than three months is classified as “chronic.” When people have chronic pain for a long time, it can become a downward spiral. As a result of the pain, they become more inactive and sedentary, and more often than not, their health worsens.

People with chronic pain may even turn to extreme options, such as surgery or addictive painkillers, to try to find relief from pain. If you have pain but want a non-invasive, non-addictive relief option, it’s time to get in touch with our office and talk to a physical therapist. Our innovative care strategies at Evolving Gait Physical Therapy will help you find quick relief.

How can physical therapy help me find relief?

The course of therapy recommended by your physical therapist will be tailored to meet your specific needs and objectives. After an initial consultation and examination, your therapist will do their best to work with you on methods to begin to overcome your chronic aches and pains.

This is going to start with education. Your therapist will explain how your pain developed and what can be done to relieve it. The goal will initially be to manage pain so that you can eventually get back to enjoying your normal routine.

Exercise, stretching, and flexibility are all part of physical therapy. Becoming stronger and more flexible over time will make it easier for you to move around with less pain. This is going to be a slow and gradual process – exercises will focus on the slow, steady and gradual improvement of your strength and flexibility.

Manual therapy is a specialized type of massage that physical therapists are trained to perform. These techniques will be used to mobilize tight joints that contribute to pain and to manipulate soft tissues for relief. This technique may be very therapeutic when dealing with pain.

Finally, posture and body mechanics training will be a major part of your physical therapy. Learning how to use correct posture at home, at work, and at rest can help to relieve pain and prevent recurrence of pain. All these treatment modalities will help you return to normal life without invasive surgery or painkillers.

What should I know about chronic pain?

As stated by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke,

“While acute pain is a normal sensation triggered in the nervous system to alert you to possible injury and the need to take care of yourself, chronic pain is different. Chronic pain persists. Pain signals keep firing in the nervous system for weeks, months, even years.

There may have been an initial mishap — sprained back, serious infection, or there may be an ongoing cause of pain — arthritis, cancer, ear infection, but some people suffer chronic pain in the absence of any past injury or evidence of body damage. Many chronic pain conditions affect older adults.

Common pain complaints include headache, low back pain, cancer pain, arthritis pain, neurogenic pain (pain resulting from damage to the peripheral nerves or to the central nervous system itself), psychogenic pain (pain not due to past disease or injury or any visible sign of damage inside or outside the nervous system).

A person may have two or more co-existing chronic pain conditions. Such conditions can include chronic fatigue syndrome, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, inflammatory bowel disease, interstitial cystitis, temporomandibular joint dysfunction, and vulvodynia. It is not known whether these disorders share a common cause.”

Chronic pain affects each person differently. In many cases, the pain continues long after the body is healed of injury or a surgical procedure. 

The good news is that physical therapy is not a one-size-fits-all approach to pain relief. Your physical therapist has many tools and techniques at their disposal to help relieve and overcome pain.

Chronic pain has a number of symptoms associated with it, apart from the fact that the pain lasted more than three months.

Here are some of the symptoms associated with chronic aches and pains:

  • Weight Gain and Additional Problems: People with chronic pain may put on too much weight, which can lead to a host of added problems, from diabetes to heart disease.
  • Reduced Circulation: Remaining inactive due to chronic pain reduces your circulation, which means your cells are not receiving a healthy amount of blood and oxygen. This can cause tissues to degenerate and leads to feelings of constant fatigue.
  • Reduced Fitness: Inactivity due to chronic pain can cause your muscles to weaken and shrink. This can have profound physical effects over time, such as impacting your sense of balance.
  • Stiffness: Muscles and joints may feel stiffer when suffering from chronic pain.
  • Activity Avoidance: People with chronic pain become fearful of normal activities. The fear of additional pain can cause people to withdraw from normal physical activities that they enjoy.

Ready to get started?

If you have suffered from chronic aches and pains, take the first step today to overcome your condition.

Call Evolving Gait Physical Therapy to schedule a physical therapy appointment.

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