Have you grown accustomed to feeling a twinge here and a spasm there? Do you suffer from recurring aches and pains for reasons you don’t totally understand? Have you been gritting your teeth and putting up with a longstanding chronic pain condition? Maybe you’ve been putting off medical treatment for your ailment because you’re afraid of one particular form of care — surgery. Well, now you can stop worrying, because physical therapy could make surgery unnecessary in your case. Contact Sports & Orthopaedic Therapy Services to discover the non-invasive world of conservative pain management!
The Definition of Chronic Pain
You’re not surprised or confused by pain when it occurs alongside an acute health problem, such as an auto accident injury, sports injury or localized infection. Pain in these circumstances is only natural — plus you have the reassurance of knowing that the pain will last only as long as it takes you to recover from the underlying problem. But chronic pain offers no such reassurance. This type of pain lasts longer than 3 months, and may even last a lifetime if the underlying cause is incurable. The pain may come and go, or it may plague you continuously. It may be a mild annoyance, or it may be a debilitating agony.
Chronic Pain Causes and Effects
In some cases, chronic pain is the after-effect of an acute injury or illness that never quite healed properly. For instance, an internal soft tissue injury may have formed adhesions, lumps of scar tissue that grow over them and make it painful for you to move those tissues. Chronic aches and pains can also be caused by:
- Arthritis, a degenerative, inflammatory joint condition
- Trigger points, tight muscle knots that go into spasm and refer pain to various parts of the body
- Systemic problems such as fibromyalgia
- Overuse of specific tissues, which causes those tissues experience ongoing inflammation and strain
- Herniated or bulging discs that pinch the spinal nerve roots or spinal cord
- Musculoskeletal imbalances or weaknesses
Chronic pain can severely limit your ability to move around freely, perform manual tasks, get a decent night’s sleep or do a decent day’s work. Some chronic pain syndromes, such as sciatica, may trick you into thinking that they’re gone for good, only to come back again and again. But don’t think that you’re alone in your distress; some 116 million Americans suffer from chronic pain.
How Physical Therapy Eases Chronic Aches and Pains
Since medication tends to provide only temporarily relief from chronic aches and pains, you may assume that your only long-term pain relief option is surgery. But procedures to fuse joints or remove pieces of vertebral discs can do more harm than good, not to mention the lengthy recuperation you’d have to endure. That leaves physical therapy as your safe, effective, drug-free, non-invasive answer. Our physical therapist can reduce and control your chronic aches and pains by prescribing:
- Strengthening exercises to help your body support itself more easily
- Stretching exercises to increase your flexibility
- Exercises that target specific joints or muscle groups suffering from chronic pain conditions
- Massage therapy to break up adhesions and trigger points while soothing inflamed tissues
- Techniques such as TENS or ultrasound therapy to block pain messages and promote healing
- Heat therapy to loosen tight muscles
- Cold therapy to reduce swelling and inflammatory pain
Our physical therapist is ready to help you achieve the comfortable life you seek without going under the knife. Contact Sports & Orthopaedic to arrange for a consultation and request a personalized treatment program!