Chronic pain, or pain that lasts more than several months, is a very common problem. Recent clinical studies suggest the following:
- About 25.3 million U.S. adults (11.2 percent) had pain every day for the previous 3 months.
- Nearly 40 million adults (17.6 percent) had severe pain.
- Individuals with severe pain had worse overall health, used more health care, spend more time in doctors’ offices, and had more disability than those with less severe pain.
People can suffer with chronic pain in a number of areas of the body. We commonly treat patients that have chronic pain in the following areas:
- Headaches caused by postural syndromes and work-related activities
- Neck pain of unknown origin, or caused by car accidents, postural syndromes, work-related activity
- Lower back pain of unknown origin, as a result of overuse injury, or caused by car accidents, lifting injuries, slip-and-falls
- Hip pain as a result of osteoarthritis or injury
- Knee pain as a result of osteoarthritis and sports injuries
Problems Associated with Chronic Pain
Patients that experience chronic pain often have some or all of the following:
- Fear of performing daily activities
- Tightness and stiffness
- Increased use of pain pills
- New or worsening conditions
- Circulation problems
How Physical Therapy Can Help You
Physical therapist directed treatment can help chronic pain patients in the following areas:
Patient education – physical therapists help chronic pain patients understand that chronic pain is complex involving more than damaged muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joint tissues. Emotions, depression, anxiety, nervous system hypersensitivity, tissue damage, and pain caused in the brain are all components of chronic pain that may be addressed by your physical therapist.
Hands-on treatment – soft tissue and spinal manipulative techniques are often effective to help decrease pain and increase mobility.
Graded exercise programs – improving your strength and endurance can make it easier for you to move around during the day. Consider daily activities like getting out of a chair or a car, climbing stairs, or walking long distances. These are daily activities that graded exercise programs, provided by a physical therapist, can help with.
Posture and body mechanics instructions – understanding how to properly lift, sit, bend, reach, and perform specific daily activities can help. Moreover, progressively recovering normal movements through stretching and strengthening can assist in the return to your normal daily activities.
The Feldenkrais method-uses gentle movements and hands-on techniques to improve your comfortable flexibility and co-ordination so you can return to easy, fluid and comfortable ways of moving.
If you suffer with chronic pain, give us a call to learn how we can help you out.