Chronic Pain Relief
Chronic pain is not just a physical condition. It can also take a toll on your mental and emotional health and well-being. It can affect every part of your life, keeping you from enjoying your daily physical activities. Fortunately, Physical and Occupational Therapy has been clinically proven to improve your body’s ability to function without pain.
What is Chronic Pain?
Pain is an indicator of an injury to a muscle, tendon, bone, or nerve. Any time you are injured, pain signals travel from the nerves near the injury to your spinal cord and brain. Usually, once the injury begins to heal, the pain signals stop. Chronic pain occurs when your body keeps sending pain signals to your brain, sometimes long after the injury has healed. It can last several weeks, several years or even a lifetime. Chronic pain may be dull or intermittent, sharp or steady. It affects every person’s ability to move differently and can make it difficult to engage in normal tasks such as walking, running, standing, dressing, driving, or even working.
Are there Different Types of Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain affects more than 1 billion people worldwide. While it can originate from an injury such as a car accident or slip and fall, other types of pain are associated with illness or other medical conditions.
- Nociceptive Pain – Nociceptive pain is found in the muscles and soft tissues of the body. It is also sometimes called somatic pain. Back pain, pelvic pain, arthritis, and headaches are all examples of nociceptive pain. These conditions respond well to Physical and Occupational Therapy on its own. In fact, many Physical and Occupational Therapy modalities have been shown to reduce or eliminate nociceptive.
- Neuropathic Pain – You have millions of nerve endings and branches that run throughout your body. When these nerves are damaged from injury, illness or surgery, the resulting pain is called neuropathic pain. Often, neuropathic pain is more intense and described as a sharp or stabbing feeling. Pain associated with mastectomy or amputation and diabetic neuropathy are examples of neuropathic pain. Combining Physical Therapy with other modalities found in a Physical Therapist’s office can help to relieve neuropathy pain.
How Can you Treat Chronic Pain?
In the treatment of chronic pain, the primary goal of Physical & Occupational Therapy is to increase your flexibility, strength and function in a gradual manner, while reducing your overall pain. Some specific treatment options that may be used include:
- Deep Tissue Massage – By applying direct pressure to specific areas, a Physical and Occupational Therapist can relieve tension in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
- Hot and Cold Treatments – Hot treatments will bring more oxygen and blood to the injured areas, relieve tension in muscles, and provide temporary relief from pain. Cold therapies can reduce muscle spasms and inflammation. Physical and Occupational Therapists often alternate between them to gain the benefits of both.
- Class 4 Light Laser – Light laser treatments are used to help reduce pain and inflammation. It can also speed healing – even in chronic conditions – which can decrease dependence on pain medications.
Physical and Occupational Therapy and Chronic Pain
Whether your chronic pain is from an illness, medical condition, old injury, or recent problem, Physical and Occupational Therapy can play a vital role in alleviating your discomfort. It begins with a personalized consultation. Our Physical or Occupational Therapists will perform a comprehensive exam to gather information about your past medical history and any interventions you have already tried. They will gather information from you and take any measurements necessary, such as range of motion and strength. After evaluating all of this information, you and your Physical or Occupational Therapist will begin to create a customized therapy plan to address your specific needs.
Periodically, your Physical or Occupational Therapist will check your progress and adjust your goals to address your changing needs. The journey to overcome chronic pain and recover your body’s function may be long and winding. Fortunately, a qualified Physical or Occupational Therapist can provide supportive treatment along the way. Want to learn more about how Physical and Occupational Therapy services can help you conquer your chronic pain? Contact Us Today at Pinellas Park & Seminole, FL Centers for a comprehensive evaluation today.