Chronic Pain

How is chronic pain different from other types of pain?

We’ve all had sprained ankles and pulled back muscles. And while those incidents are never pleasant, the pain rarely lasts more than a few weeks at most. Chronic pain, on the other hand, can go on for months or even years, especially when you can’t find the proper diagnosis or treatment for it.

Apart from the longer timeframe, chronic pain differs from the other main category of pain — acute pain — in that it doesn’t always have a cause you can pinpoint. In fact, while acute pain normally comes from a sudden illness or injury, chronic pain might stem from a wrenched back that happened so long ago that you don’t remember. Alternatively, your pain may have its origins from non-injury conditions, such as a degenerating disk, aging joints, or a pinched nerve.

Most importantly, chronic pain differs from acute pain in that it sometimes can’t be measured or even found through traditional testing like X-rays. Of course, sometimes inflammation can be detected with these diagnostic tools, but often it’s a physical therapist who is best able to determine the location and extent of the problem.

 

What are some common forms of chronic pain?

As you might imagine, there are many chronic pain-causing conditions that don’t go away on their own. Among the types which may be helped by physical therapy are:

  • Sciatica
  • Arthritis
  • Headaches
  • Pelvic joint pain
  • Peripheral Neuropathy
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Foot pain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Tennis elbow

 

How can physical therapy help my chronic pain?

The type of chronic pain you have, as well as its underlying cause, will determine what sort of treatment your physical therapist will recommend. Our unique approach to treating chronic pain is a whole body approach, incorporating the principles of John F Barnes Myofascial Release therapy. Improving Postural awareness and teaching movement techniques to reduce pain is also a key component, as are personalized exercises for strength and flexibility.

When you need help dealing with — and often eradicating — chronic pain, call us for a consultation. Our expert team is here to help.

 

Sources

http://www.apta.org/Media/Releases/Consumer/2013/12/5/

http://www.spine-health.com/blog/6-steps-get-pain-relief-physical-therapy-and-exercise

http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/back-pain/in-depth/understanding-pain/art-20208632

http://www.moveforwardpt.com/symptomsconditionsdetail.aspx?cid=dd79c11d-9ac3-42cc-bcc2-2edd5079a57a